Perhaps, you grow a mayhaw (Crataegus spp.) tree in a shady spot in your backyard for the fruit to make delicious jellies, sauces, and wines. Maybe you have these trees growing wild near your pond and enjoy the showy spring blooms. Whatever the case, trimming mayhaws at some point may become crucial. Read on to learn more.
About Mayhaw Pruning
Some homeowners grow mayhaw trees instead of dogwoods for the early flowering display. Sometimes growth gets out of hand and it is necessary to prune mayhaw trees. Trimming mayhaws is common for those who use them as landscape specimens or in orchards. The round top may become so dense that light can’t reach the interior branches. The tree may be taking up more space than you’d like. These are reasons for mayhaw pruning, as is the yearly removal of root sprouts and basal suckers.
When to Prune a Mayhaw
Some of the most necessary pruning begins as you train the mayhaw tree to have a single leader or trunk. Some experts suggest mayhaw pruning should start on the day of planting. This type of pruning is done with many fruit trees to avoid the splitting of the trunk that is possible when double leaders or codominant stems are allowed to grow.
Training the tree to a single leader can begin at an early age if the double leaders are visible. Also, remove branches that grow at two feet (60 cm.) or lower. Sometimes it is necessary to prune mayhaw trees in their first five years to correct problems before they occur. Consider mayhaw pruning to keep your tree open and attractive.
How to Prune Mayhaw Trees
As reasons for pruning mayhaw trees are numerous, it is prudent to learn how to prune mayhaw. This task includes precise cuts for thinning branches to allow for better light penetration causing fruit to grow and ripen more readily. Make cuts as smoothly as possible with sharp cutters. Sanitize pruning tools between cuts to avoid transmission of disease.
Pruning mayhaw trees can be dangerous because of the sharp thorns on the tree. A member of the Hawthorn family, these thorns accompany the fruit and require thick gloves and other protection when pruning. Dispose of pruned materials properly.
Learning when to prune a mayhaw is essential for the overall development of young trees and the maintenance of those that have matured. Mayhaw pruning makes your tree healthy and productive.