Stewardship Species Hawthorn Quickthorn Farm Stewardship Hedging
Hawthorn Quickthorn is one of the mainstays of Stewardship hedgerows since as a very tough, thorny dense growing shrub or small tree and it is superb for stock proofing as well as supporting the other varieties in the mix. Because of its density Hawthorn Quickthorn provides shelter and food for innumerable birds, insects and animals for example the flowers are a favourite of dormice and provide pollen and nectar for bees and other insects and the nutritious berries are eaten by birds and small mammals.
Stewardship Hedging has been in place in England for over a thousand years, forming boundaries between properties and parishes as well as preventing livestock from straying out of their designated areas. Some of the boundaries are the remains of ancient wooded sites which have been clipped, infilled, or replaced or if the skills are available locally the art of hedge laying is not dead and can be a sight to behold. Government grants in recent years have helped in repairing and re-establishing many of these hedgerows as a move to encourage more wildlife, flora as well as fauna as we become more aware of the necessity to do this.
Hawthorn Quickthorn or Crataegus Monogyna is also known as the May tree and interestingly is the only plant named after the month in which it flowers. The blossoms are usually white although some may have a pink tinge and appear after the early flowering Blackthorn and in areas where it is very exposed to weather may be one of the few plants either to survive or self-seed.
In medieval times it was said that Hawthorn blossom smelled of death and if taken indoors would bring illness and death with it, subsequently it was discovered that a chemical produced in the flowers is the same one as produced in decaying animal flesh. As a matter of interest for foragers, the young foliage, flower buds and flowers of Hawthorn Quickthorn are all edible, usually added to salads and the berries are used to make wines, jellies and ketchups.
Hawthorn Quickthorn is tolerant of any situation and soil, is very economical to grow, often being planted as a single species hedge as well as being the largest percent of any species in Stewardship mixes, the only criteria being that in planting a new hedge if rabbits are a problem then the plastic spiral guards are a must. Occasionally a Hawthorn Quickthorn plant may be allowed to develop into a full size tree along the hedgerow in order to break up the monotony of along straight line of hedge as well as to provide a taller settling point for songbirds and the like.
Stewardship Species Hawthorn Quickthorn 12/16in 30/40cm