HAWTHORN or MAY Crataegus monogyna
Whitethorn or Quickthorn is a hedgerow tree widely planted in the 18th
& 19th centuries. In the forest it occurs as a scrub species although
there are some very old trees scattered about especially on Dog Kennel
Hill possibly as a result of planting in the 1850's following the loss
of Kingswood and the setting up of farms including Foxburrows Farm.
Hawthorn comes into flower - May blossom - in the spring after the
young green leaves appear. Its red fruits 'Haws' are sought after in the
autumn and winter by the winter visitors such as Redwings and
Fieldfares. The Midland hawthorn C. laevigata occurs
occasionally in the forest and is a true woodland species. The leaves
are less lobed than in the Hawthorn. In the plantation near the Latchford
Gate is a Broad-leaved cockspur thorn C. persimilis. The
flowers are similar to the Hawthorn but the leaves are not lobed. A
feature are the vicious thorns on the twigs which lie hidden among the
foliage in the summer months, a trap for the unwary!