We’ve been following the progress of this Mayhaw, Crataegus aestivalus, for a while now. Back in winter I did a hard pruning of the branches in order to continue development of the tree’s structure. As with any such work, I then let the tree alone to grow untrimmed from budburst till now.
This is the result. You can see I have growth well in excess of a foot over multiple shoots all throughout the tree. This is a good sign, of course. I wouldn’t contemplate repotting the tree unless I knew it was strong enough for such work. This is true no matter what species you’re working with.
Now the tree gets a haircut! I’m not sure at this point how much root I’ll be taking off the tree, but the demand on the root system needs to be reduced. Thus the serious trimming.
Here’s the tree lifted from its pot. I like the plentiful white roots. At the same time, I had noticed some obvious leaf scorch, which told me there was something going on under the surface of the soil. You can see these roots are running laterally, right up against the pot. Pots start getting pretty hot in May around here, and that tends to overstress any roots snuggled up next to their surfaces. This stress is reflected in the leaves.
Now I’ve combed out the roots and done a limited pruning. Hawthorns often don’t grow a profuse set of roots, but they seem to get along fine anyway. For this tree, I took the opportunity to do some judicious pruning and carving in the root zone. This particular tree has an awesome set of radial roots; it came from the wild that way. So my only chore has been to manage what God created.
And finally, the tree is back in its home. Given the rate of root growth, I expect to not have to do another repotting for at least two years. You can see that I cut back the apex and wired up a new leader. This is part of the building of the crown of the tree. It’s a meticulous process that, done properly, takes a few years. But I expect the result to be worth the effort.
New buds should appear in about two weeks.