Maintaining apple thorn - there is not much to do!

Maintaining apple thorn - there is not much to do!

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The apple thorn is an ornamental shrub or tree that is not only an eye-catcher at flowering. Here, we reveal what needs to be taken into account when taking care of your skin.

Easy-care, easy-care, apple thorn (Crataegus lavallei). Caring for and growing an apple thorn is as easy as taking care of it. We have summarized the few aspects to be considered in this guide.

If you buy a garden, you will certainly recognize chestnut, apple and cherry trees straight away - but since the apple thorn is often unknown to laypeople, we will first tell you in this section how you can recognize this plant.

The Crataegus lavallei 'Carrierei', also called apple thorn or tree hawthorn, is a five to ten meter high large shrub or small tree, the crown of which can be three to five meters wide. During a growing season it grows up to 20 to 25 cm (in particularly good circumstances even up to 40 cm) at first very straight, later on it can be screened with a protruding tree crown.
to Flowering from late May to June enchants the tree with large white or pink umbels.

But be careful: some find the smell harsh.

The leaves themselves are ovate and usually glossy dark green. In autumn (November, early December) the leaves turn orange-yellow. At first glance, the fruits of the apple thorn, which are one to two centimeters in size, look like small apples. They glow brick red and stick for a long time.

What needs to be considered when it comes to soil and fertilization?

The good news in advance: No. As mentioned at the beginning, the jewelry tree is really frugal. Conventional garden flooring is sufficient and there is also no need to buy extra fertilizer. However, if you want to do something good for the apple thorn, you can work some ripened compost into the soil in spring to provide the small tree with fresh nutrients. You will then be rewarded with beautiful bright umbels and red glowing fruits.

Tip: Thanks to the deep roots, it is also significantly less sensitive than other shrubs.

Pour apple thorn

Undemanding as the sapling is, you only need a little extra in the form of water in this point only during persistent heat without rainy seasons. Otherwise, its water requirements are in the middle range. Waterlogging should of course be avoided to protect the root system. This accommodates the easy care of the apple thorn.

Cut apple thorn - so it stays in shape

The otherwise very easy-care tree needs a cut every now and then, so that a stable crown is built up that can easily carry the fruit hanging and also withstand the weight of snow. In addition, you can determine the height and width of the apple thorn yourself.

Experts recommend a pyramid shape and the promotion of guide branches for an apple thorn. These ensure that the narrow trunk (in the case of a small tree) can carry the tree crown.

Note: The construction cut is very important, especially for young trees. The remaining branches should be chosen so that the crown grows evenly.

If the apple thorn is preferred as a shrub or bush, the effort remains less. Nevertheless, it must always be kept in mind that nearby plants have enough space. Apart from trimming the outer branches, it may also be necessary to thin out the center of the apple thorn every now and then. For this, some branches can be cut out completely. The ideal time for this is the months of February or March before the shrub starts to flower.

Warning: No matter whether apple thorn shrub or bush or tree - light construction cuts are always necessary if the growth is too wild and bulky. Especially when branches are very close together, bark can rub off, which creates open areas in which, in the worst case, fungi and bacteria can become lodged.

Wintering apple thorn - cold is not a problem

The wintering of the leaved hawthorn differs depending on the planting location:in the bucket
Cold cannot harm an adult apple thorn. Young plants in the tub, however, are somewhat more sensitive. So that they can survive the cold winter well, the plant linen should be covered with a frost protection fleece or jute sack. At low temperatures, moving the buckets to a protected place should also be considered.down in the soil
A great advantage of the Crataegus lavallei is its insensitivity to cold. Since it cannot harm frosty temperatures down to -30 ° C, normally no further measures need to be taken in our latitudes.

Apple thorn: pests and diseases

Fortunately, the hardy woody and leathery leaves rarely have problems with pest infestation.

The only weak point of the apple thorn is the fire blight. When the tree is infected with the fire blight, the time has come for more intensive care, even with the apple thorn. But how can the disease be recognized? And what can you do about it?

How to recognize fire blight on the apple thorn

The tree suffering from fire blight gives a sad picture. First, the bacteria form drops of mucus, which attach themselves to the branches of the tree. It is this slime that causes the disease, which is fatal to fruit and ornamental trees, to spread. It can be transmitted by birds, insects and animals, among others. Another factor is contaminated and non-disinfected tools for cutting the branches. The weather also plays a role in the course of the disease. If it is pleasantly warm and moist, the germs can multiply so quickly that the apple thorn can no longer counteract it. The infection usually occurs via the flowers, but the shoots can also be a target. If these are injured, the bacteria have an easy time of it.

The advanced clinical picture shows wilting leaves and flowers. The reason for this are blockages in the water channels in the tree caused by bacteria. The leaves of the apple thorn soon take on a dark, almost black color and bend downwards. Overall, the tree makes a burned impression.

Care in case of fire blight

If you have discovered the bacterial mucus on the apple thorn, it is imperative to cut back the affected shoots and areas exactly. This must be done well into the healthy wood. The diseased areas are brownish in color. These areas must be removed completely.

Note: The fire blight is a notifiable disease. A laboratory examination is therefore advisable to confirm the diagnosis of fire blight. The orders of the authorities can vary, including quarantine zones, clearing and burning of the trees.

Prevent fire blight

First of all the bad news: there is no effective pesticide approved for hobby gardens to prevent the fire blight.

However, a good ecological alternative is the use of biological yeast preparations. These deprive the fire blight of food and seal the flower bottom. This means that the pathogen can no longer be transported into the ground and infect the tree. In addition, these preparations do not transfer any pollutants into the honey from the bees.

Apfeldorn FAQ - Frequently asked questions about the care of the Crataegus lavallei 'Carrierei'

Finally, we would like to summarize the most important things about this jewelry tree:

The fruits are not red, but orange-yellow - is the tree sick?

No, that's normal in the first few years. The older the small tree gets, the more intense the color of the fruit.

The fruits don't fall by themselves - should I pick them?

No, that's not necessary. The advantage of this is not only less work, but also the long enjoyment of the colorful lease - because often they get stuck into the winter. Incidentally, the bird world also benefits from the care of the apple thorn: for birds, the apple thorn with its wide crown offers the ideal place for nest building. Fortunately, the offspring are particularly protected from cats and other predators. The reason for this are the long thorns in the wood. The fruits of the tree also serve as food for some bird species.

Does the apple thorn need to be watered regularly?

Yes until it grows. After that, drought can no longer affect him. Long dry periods are an exception - here we recommend watering sufficiently.

Is waterlogging a problem for the apple thorn?
Yes! We therefore recommend drainage to drain off moisture in the soil or holes in the bottom of the plant pots in the case of tubs to avoid waterlogging.

Does the apple thorn need to be fertilized regularly?

If by regular is meant more than once a year, not. In spring, however, it makes sense to incorporate compost into the soil around the apple thorn so that the soil is enriched with nutrients.

The leaves turn yellow and hang - is there something wrong?

Unless it is autumn, at worst it could be larvae of the pear beetle. These disrupt the water supply to the apple thorn, causing it to die. Incidentally, this infestation can also be seen in feeding holes in the trunk, which are initially about three millimeters in size, but later up to one centimeter in size. As long as they are still larvae or hatching pear beetles, they can usually be controlled with a biological insecticide made from neem. However, the longer the infestation lasts, the higher the risk that the tree has been irreversibly damaged and will no longer recover.