Hawthorn trees can grow up to 15m tall and have a dense habit, and thorny branches. They are often used in hedges. The flowers, which bloom in May are white or pink. They later develop deep red fruits called ‘haws’.
Hawthorn supports many species of insects, and the leaves are the food for caterpillars of many moths. Its flowers provide nectar and pollen for bees and other pollinating insects. Haws provide food for many birds and small mammals.
Many species of birdlike to nest in hawthorn trees, as the dense thorny branches and thick foliage provide excellent shelter.
Hawthorn wood is good fire wood, and is said to burn at a high temperature. Legend has it that Jesus’s crown of thorns was made of hawthorn. In Celtic folklore Hawthorn is known as the magic tree of the fairies.