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Why didn't my hawthorn tree flower this year?


By Jan65

North East England, United Kingdom Gb

My crategous (spelling?) tree was planted the year before last. It has not flowered before but I assumed it was taking its time getting itself established. This spring I was ecstatic to see lots of pink buds and was looking forward to masses of pink flowers, but they all seem to have died off before opening. The tree seems otherwise very healthy. Any thoughts would be much appreciated.



Birds (pigeons, finches etc) can peck off the flower buds. Were they flower buds or leaf buds? Hawthorn trees need 2 or 3 year old wood to flower on so you may have to wait.

8 Jun, 2009


We also had a couple of almost drought situations this year, including one early on - if the plant was short of water, it would sacrifice the flowers in order to survive, so it could have been that.

8 Jun, 2009


Thank you both for your replies, Bamboo and Volunteer.

Volunteer, they were flower buds, but I don't think it was birds, as the buds are still on the tree, only they're almost all dead, having turned brown before they'd even opened.

Bamboo, maybe it was drought conditions, but I did think I'd been careful enough to water sufficiently through those - but in retrospect perhaps not careful enough.

I was wondering if I should have fed the tree in some way? Maybe through the surrounding soil?

I'm so disappointed that the flowers have died, as the tree would have looked spectacular if they'd opened fully - there were absolutely loads of them. I hope it doesn't happen again next year, so any more tips would be very welcome.

8 Jun, 2009


It sounds as if the plant is having difficulty getting enough water through to the buds. Is it on shallow soil, or could it have been very pot-bound when you planted it? Try and think of any other reason that it may have trouble. Or is it in waterlogged soil? If it fails to improve next year you may have to dig it up and investigate/ move it.

10 Jun, 2009


Definitely sounds like drought to me - a lot of us got fooled as to how dry it was - so many high winds dries everything out, even if we have some rain.

10 Jun, 2009


Thank you both again for your replies. I do hope it's not waterlogged soil - don't think so - as I don't fancy having to dig it up, not sure where else I could put it!

I hope it is just drought. The tree otherwise looks very healthy, no problems with the leaves (touch wood), just the flower buds that have turned brown. I will be more careful with it from now on and make sure I give it enough water to try to prevent the same problem next year. It's not shallow soil, and it's two years since I planted it, so I can't remember whether it seemed pot bound or not.

Wish me luck - and thanks again for your thoughts!

10 Jun, 2009

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