Plant & Flower Identification

Are Hawthorn Tree Thorns Dangerous?

The hawthorn tree thorns are a common source of concern when talking about these aesthetic plants. They may present a danger to people, and the potential risk may cause serious consequences.

My article will analyze the danger of hawthorn tree thorns for you and provide some ways to mitigate the damage. From that, you can determine if you should plant these trees or not.

What Is Hawthorn?

hawthorn tree thorns

Hawthorn trees are Crataegus Crus-Galli. They have some visible specialties. Now, I’ll provide you with some plant traits of this type of tree.

Hawthorn Leaves

Hawthorn leaves are readily recognized by their distinctive deeply lobed shape and two distinct green tones. It means they have one darker green on top and one lighter green below.

Pictures of hawthorn leaves show plant traits, including tiny tooth-like serrations across their lobed borders.

They are usually wedge or oval leaves. Besides, they may be anywhere from half an inch to three inches long.

Leaf drop is a natural phenomenon that hawthorn trees display even in warmer places such as Georgia, Texas, and Louisiana.

Autumn brings out the best in deciduous trees by transforming their greenery into a dazzling display of warm yellows and oranges.

Hawthorn Flowers

During the flowering hawthorn season, which normally lasts from early to late spring, these companion plants are recognized for their numerous clusters of white and creamy flowers.

They grace this tree’s thorny branches.

The spectacular floral display created by these white flowers enhances the tree’s inherent beauty.

Natural pollinators, including butterflies and bees, are drawn to the hawthorn flower’s deep, musky scent and five dainty, exquisite petals.

Hawthorn tree white flowers are more noticeable and attractive when they grow in large, flat-topped clusters called corymbs. These bloom clusters may vary in color from one hawthorn species to another.

For instance, the hawthorn flower cluster of the Cockspur hawthorn and the black hawthorn display a wide variety of pink colors, including various tints of rose and pinkish-red.

The beauty of common hawthorn blossoms is enhanced because many trees produce white blooms.

Hawthorn Fruit

Hawthorn trees, which is Crataegus Crus-Galli, produce fruit that looks like a cluster of tiny, spherical berries throughout the autumn and winter. 

The hawthorn fruit has a thick crimson covering that encases a creamy golden flesh. One to five little stones, similar in size to those of a peach, are embedded in the juicy, pulpy fruit.

The fruit of these companion plants are edible and range in size around 0.5 to 1 inch. They are less palatable to most people because of their well-known sourness and extreme tanginess.

Hawthorn fruit is often used to produce jellies and jams, used with mayhaw jelly to enhance the flavor of the fruits.

Hawthorn Bark

The hawthorne tree bark is gray, characterized by shallow cracks and short, vertical ridges. Smooth gray bark is a telltale sign that a tree is a young hawthorn.

As it ages, the common hawthorn tree bark develops deeper brown tones and a hard-fissured texture.

The gray bark can be used in alternative medicine to treat heart disease and is useful for making tea and vitamins.

Are Hawthorn Tree Thorns Dangerous?

Are Hawthorn Tree Thorns Dangerous

IT DEPENDS. The size and sharpness of hawthorn thorns may vary widely from one species of Cockspur hawthorn trees to another.

Although hawthorn thorns aren’t poisonous or venomous, they pose risks and may result in injuries if handled improperly.

Dangerous Thorn Wound

Sharp and rather large, the hawthorn thorns may cause serious injuries. You should wear safety gear like heavy gloves and glasses while pruning to protect yourself.

Some people have gone blind because sharp thorns cause eye scratches.

Puncture words to the skin are a common effect of coming into contact with thorns. If a tetanus injection hasn’t been given in the prior ten years, get one before a thorn pricks you.


Hawthorn slender thorns may cause more than simply pain when they scrape or penetrate since they can also set off allergic reactions in certain people.

Extreme and intense pain and substance swelling surrounding the damaged region are common symptoms of an allergic response to hawthorn thorns.

Antihistamines, which reduce the allergic reaction, may be helpful in certain situations.

In contrast, if the symptoms do not subside after a while, it is suggested to contact a doctor to be properly diagnosed and treated.

Causing Bacterial Infection

Hawthorn thorns may cause more than discomfort; they can spread illness if they penetrate the skin and release plant germs. Verified instances have shown the devastating effects of such illnesses.

A toddler, for example, developed septic arthritis after being pricked by a cockspur hawthorn thorn, an infection that resulted from the bacterium Curtobacterium.

A youngster was infected with Enterobacter cloacae and Pantoea once a thorn got stuck beneath her skin, demonstrating the diversity of bacteria infection by touching the thorn.

What Are Requirements When Planting Hawthorn?

What Are Requirements When Planting Hawthorn

After considering some effects of the hawthorn tree thorns. If you still want to plant them, here are some useful tips to plant this popular cultivar.


Hawthorn trees tolerate solid conditions and may be grown successfully in various environments comprising clay, alkaline, sandy, and acidic soils.

They are simple to grow since gardeners don’t have to add a lot of organic matter to the soil before planting. These trees thrive best in well-drained, consistently moist soil.


Hawthorn trees thrive and produce fruit when exposed to ample amounts of sunshine. They may grow well anywhere, from moderate shade to direct sunlight.

Hawthorn trees may blossom and produce fruit because of their capacity to adjust to different light levels.

Gardeners may improve the health and vitality of these trees by positioning them in the garden to get the most sunshine possible.


The water requirements of Cockspur hawthorn trees are modest, particularly in its formative years. An adequate moisture supply greatly aids root growth and general health.

This popular cultivar needs intensive and consistent irrigation for around three years. You should keep the soil surrounding the tree wet but not soaked to promote healthy root growth.


Where Do Hawthorn Trees Grow?

Hawthorn trees are very adaptable and may thrive in a variety of environments. They originated in the Americas but now live around the globe.

This tree is found throughout Europe, Asia, North America, and North Africa.

Hawthorn trees may thrive in milder climes and may be found in various environments, including fields, forests, riverbanks, and meadows.

Their species and growth habits change with factors including latitude, elevation, and precipitation.

How To Plant A Hawthorn Tree?

To ensure the survival of your sapling, dig a hole twice as big and deep as the root ball.

The hole for the hawthorn tree’s living fence should be a minimum of 20 feet wide to allow the plant’s roots to spread out.


All in all, are hawthorn tree thorns dangerous? The exact answer depends. However, you should be careful with hawthorn thorns because of their wounds, allergic issues, and bacterial infection.

If the hawthorn thorn picks you, provide immediate treatment for hawthorn puncture wounds, thoroughly clean wounds, and seek medical assistance to prevent and treat infectious, allergic issues.

Samuel Mark

Hello I am Samuel. Samuel's Garden is a garden blog where I share my experiences in garden caring and tree growth. Hope you enjoy it!

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  1. I believe I was pricked by one and it cause a tent like reaction on my hand which later swelled to 1/2 inch in height and covered 2-3 inches….the pain was instant, but within 2 days has gone away….swelling is down to a 1/4 inch, but the skin discoloration is extending from the puncture site, from the top center of my hand to the base of my fingers and to my wrist…….is this normal?…other than the puncture site I have no pain and have complete mobility of my hand….I treated with an antibiotic cream…should I see a Dr. or is it a waste of money?

    1. Hi Anthony,

      I am sorry to hear that yet you should find a doctor who near you to exam it. It’s your health, so don’t listen any advice that come from online comments.

      Hope you are good!

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