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Crusader® Hawthorn for Sale - Buying & Growing Guide

  • Crusader® Hawthorn
  • Crusader® Hawthorn
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Crataegus crusgalli ‘Crusader'

The Crusader® Hawthorn, Crataegus crus-galli 'Crusader,' may just be the most easy-care plant you've ever grown. It adapts well to poor or dry soils, isn't picky about soil pH, and can easily handle winter salt spray and drought. It needs little pruning and makes an attractive specimen tree or centerpiece in a cottage garden. There's another big plus with this tree as well: unlike almost all other hawthorns, it is thornless, which means the little upkeep it does need can be done without wearing thick leather gloves, and you can plant it anywhere without worrying about injuries as people brush past it. The Crusader® Hawthorn can also handle urban pollution, and since it is a fairly petite tree, it does well in smaller city lots. Here are a few more reasons to add this lovely tree to your own garden:

  • With white blooms in spring and red fruit in fall, it's a four-season tree.
  • Native to North America.
  • Birds, pollinators and other wildlife are attracted to it.
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Plant Care



The Crusader® Hawthorn does best in full sunlight, six or more hours of direct light each day.



Water whenever the soil three inches below the surface is dry; newly-planted trees should be watered regularly.



Fertilize with a balanced, slow-release product, such as a 5-5-5 formula, in spring.

Planting and Care

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by Mary Van Keuren | Gardener (30+ Years Experience) – last update on October 20, 2022

Planting instructions

Site your tree in soil that drains well and receives at least six hours of sunlight a day. Unpot the sapling, teasing out any encircling roots, which can girdle the tree and slowly kill it. Dig a hole that’s as deep as the root ball and twice as wide. Place the tree in the hole, spreading out the roots. Holding it upright and steady, fill in around the root zone with topsoil, tamping down as you go to eliminate air pockets. Water thoroughly. Apply a two to three-inch layer of organic mulch such as bark chips around the root zone to conserve moisture and hinder weed growth but keep it from touching the trunk to avoid problems with rot.

Watering and nutrients

Water a newly-planted hawthorn a few times a week until you begin to see robust new growth on the branches. Then, cut back to watering once a week for the first year. After that, it will only need supplemental watering when the soil is dry three inches below the surface. The Crusader® Hawthorn is not a heavy feeder, but if you wish to encourage new growth, you can apply a balanced, slow-release product such as a 5-5-5 formula in spring.


The Crusader® Hawthorn is monoecious, meaning it is self-fertile. A single tree is able to produce fruits on its own but having another hawthorn nearby will increase the size of the crop.


The Crusader® Hawthorn needs little pruning. Monitor the tree for dead, diseased or damaged limbs and prune these out whenever you see them. You may also prune a young tree to shape it in early spring, but this is not necessary.

Pests and diseases

Pests that may appear on your hawthorn include aphids, borers and scale insects. A healthy plant should be able to withstand minor infestations with little problem. If you are faced with a serious infestation, consider releasing beneficial insects such as ladybugs and lacewings. Diseases of the hawthorn include fire blight, powdery mildew and apple scab. Prune out any infected branches immediately and keep the area around the tree clean of any leaf litter or debris to hinder fungal growth.


Although the berries of the hawthorn are edible, they are generally left for the birds and other animals. They can, however, be picked when they are red and starting to soften and used in jams or jellies.

Achieving maximum results

As a smaller ornamental tree, one of the benefits of the Crusader® Hawthorn is that it can be grown in a container if you wish to use it as a patio plant or if you live outside of its natural range. It’s not difficult to grow a tree in a container. Pick a pot that is about twice the size of the root ball, with good drainage holes in the bottom. Plant your sapling in a good-quality potting mix, following our directions above. You may need to water your potted hawthorn more frequently than one that’s grown in the ground, and it will appreciate a spring feeding with a balanced fertilizer.


How big does the Crusader® Hawthorn get?

The Crusader® Hawthorn is a petite tree that has a mature height of about 15 feet, with a mature width of 12 to 15 feet. If grown in a container, it will remain smaller and more manageable because the roots are constrained by the size of the pot. If you are planting multiple hawthorns, be sure to leave six to eight feet between them to allow for growth.

Where can I grow the Crusader® Hawthorn

This attractive tree grows well throughout most of the continental U.S. It is hardy down to -20 degrees Fahrenheit; so, in the north, it will grow well in all but the most northern parts of New England and the Midwest. It also does well in the south, with the exception of subtropical areas of Florida, Texas and Louisiana as well as the southern parts of California's coast.

How is this hawthorn best used in my garden?

With four seasons of interest, the Crusader® Hawthorn is an excellent choice for a specimen planting in a front yard or other highly visible location. Consider underplanting it with shade-loving perennials such as astilbe or Japanese forest grass. It is well-suited to smaller yards, such as petite city lots, both because of its size as well as its resistance to an urban pollution. It would also look at home in a cottage garden or planted in multiples as an informal hedge or privacy screen.

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Mature height
15 ft.
Mature width
12-15 ft.
Sunlight requirement
Full Sun
Growth rate
Botanical name
Crataegus crusgalli 'Crusader'
Shipping exclusions
Grows Well In Zones
Growing Zones: 3-7 i Growing zones help determine if a particular plant is likely to grow well in a location. It identifies the average annual minimum winter temperatures across the U.S. provided as a map by the USDA.
(hardy down to -10°F)

Crusader® Hawthorn

Crataegus crusgalli ‘Crusader'
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  • Pots or accessories are not included unless specified in the product options.
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