The Q&A Archives: Searching For A "hawthorn" Tree.

Question: I have fallen in love with a tree that I can not locate in Southern California. I have been looking for a "Winter King Hawthorn" or a similar Hawthorn that I can grow in my area. I love how this tree puts on a show for every season. Winter - red berries, spring/summer - flowers and fall - the colorful leaves. If there is no way possible to locate this paticular tree is there a substitution I can buy?

Answer: The autumn color you enjoy so much is brought about by cold weather - something your southern California garden cannot provide. (Which is why the hawthorn you're looking for isn't available in your area.) For dependable fall color you can plant Sweet Gum (Liquidambar). The bark is interesting and the non-descript flowers produce prickly fruits, but it doesn't provide the 4 season interest you desire. Maples will provide autumn color, but not spring bloom. Pyrus, ornamental pear, will flower in spring and have colorful foliage in the fall, but not berries in the winter. There are several trees with spectacular spring bloom, but not fall color or winter berries. (Flowering cherry, Empress tree, Catalpa to name a few.) It's a difficult situation - wish I had more suggestions for you!

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