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Crataegus x lavallei: Lavalle Hawthorn

Edward F. Gilman, Dennis G. Watson, Ryan W. Klein, and Deborah R. Hilbert

Introduction

This hawthorn grows asymmetrically 20 to 30 feet tall and spreads 10 to 25 feet. The tree has lustrous foliage and fewer thorns than some other hawthorns. The flowers are white, large, and borne in spring. The fruit are borne in bright orange-red clusters and they are marked with brown and persist until spring. The fall color is bronze red. It is an all-around attractive tree providing interest throughout the year.

Figure 1. Middle-aged Crataegus x lavallei: Lavalle Hawthorn
Figure 1.  Middle-aged Crataegus x lavallei: Lavalle hawthorn.

 

General Information

Scientific name: Crataegus x lavallei

Pronunciation: kruh-TEE-gus x luh-VALE-ee-eye

Common name(s): Lavalle hawthorn

Family: Rosaceae

USDA hardiness zones: 4A through 8A (Figure 2)

Origin: not native to North America

Invasive potential: not assessed/incomplete assessment

Uses: street without sidewalk; tree lawn 3–4 feet wide; tree lawn 4–46 feet wide; tree lawn > 6 ft wide; highway median; bonsai; specimen

Figure 2. Range
Figure 2.  Range

 

Description

Height: 20 to 30 feet

Spread: 15 to 25 feet

Crown uniformity: irregular

Crown shape: vase, oval

Crown density: moderate

Growth rate: moderate

Texture: medium

Foliage

Leaf arrangement: alternate (Figure 3)

Leaf type: simple

Leaf margin: serrate

Leaf shape: elliptic (oval), oblong

Leaf venation: pinnate

Leaf type and persistence: deciduous

Leaf blade length: 2 to 4 inches

Leaf color: green

Fall color: no color change

Fall characteristic: not showy

Figure 3. Foliage
Figure 3.  Foliage

 

Flower

Flower color: white/cream/gray

Flower characteristics: showy

Fruit

Fruit shape: round

Fruit length: 0.5 to 1 inch

Fruit covering: fleshy

Fruit color: orange, red

Fruit characteristics: does not attract wildlife; showy; fruit/leaves not a litter problem

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: branches droop; not showy; typically one trunk; no thorns

Pruning requirement: little required

Breakage: resistant

Current year twig color: green

Current year twig thickness: medium

Wood specific gravity: unknown

Culture

Light requirement: full sun

Soil tolerances: clay; sand; loam; alkaline; acidic; well-drained

Drought tolerance: high

Aerosol salt tolerance: low

Other

Roots: not a problem

Winter interest: yes

Outstanding tree: no

Ozone sensitivity: unknown

Verticillium wilt susceptibility: resistant

Pest resistance: sensitive to pests/diseases

Use and Management

The tree is used extensively as a street tree in some areas of the country because they are tough. It is an excellent garden shrub border plant, providing a refreshing white bloom in spring, fall color, and attractive fruit. Specify tree-form when planting along the street.

Pests

Aphids can be partially controlled with strong sprays of water from a garden hose, if the colony is in the lower branches. Sometimes the aphids themselves are not seen but the distorted growth, honeydew on the leaves, and sooty mold growing on the honeydew are obvious.

Borer attacks may be prevented if the trees are kept in good vigor with regular fertilization.

Leaf miners symptoms are brown blotches on the leaves.

Lace bugs can be a serious, though occasional, problem. The insect feeding on the undersides of the leaves causes chlorotic flecks on the upper leaf surfaces. The lower sides of the leaves are covered with small, brown, sticky flecks.

The pear slug skeletonizes hawthorn leaves and these sawfly larvae have a slimy appearance. A few insects can be washed off with a garden hose.

Tent caterpillar nests can be pruned out while still small. Sprays of Bacillus thuringiensis may be used. Do not burn nests while the nests are in the tree. The injury from the fire may exceed that caused by the insects.

Overwintering scales can usually be controlled with horticultural oil sprays.

Spider mites are so small they can cause much foliage discoloration before being detected.

Diseases

Fire blight, this disease can be severe in some parts of the country. The first noticeable symptom of fire blight is the browning of branch tips. The tips appear to be burned or scorched and the dead, brown leaves droop but hang on the tree. Cankers form and the bacteria is washed farther down the branch by rain. The bacteria are spread from diseased to healthy twigs by bees and contaminated pruning tools. There is no satisfactory chemical control. The disease is less of a problem if trees are not located near apple or pear orchards. Prune out blighted branch tips by cutting a foot or two beyond the diseased wood. Over-fertilizing with nitrogen fertilizer may increase tree susceptibility to fire blight.

Leaf blight attacks most hawthorns but especially English hawthorn. The symptoms are small reddish-brown spots on the leaves which may run together. Infected leaves drop in August and severely infected trees may be completely bare.

Cedar hawthorn rust causes orange or rust colored spots on the leaves leading to early defoliation. The fruits and twigs are also attacked. Juniper is an alternate host. Cedar-quince rust attacks fruits. Washington, Lavelle, and cockspur hawthorn are resistant to rust diseases.

Scab causes leaf spotting and defoliation. The fruit have black raised spots on them.

Powdery mildew causes a white powdery growth on the leaves.

Publication #ENH374

Release Date:February 28, 2024

Related Collections

Part of Southern Trees Fact Sheets

Related Topics

  • Critical Issue: Agricultural and Food Systems
Organism ID

About this Publication

This document is ENH374, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date November 1993. Revised December 2023. Visit the EDIS website at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu for the currently supported version of this publication.

About the Authors

Edward F. Gilman, professor emeritus, Department of Environmental Horticulture; Dennis G. Watson, former associate professor, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering; Ryan W. Klein, assistant professor, arboriculture, Department of Environmental Horticulture; and Deborah R. Hilbert, UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

Contacts

  • Michael Andreu
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