When Should I Harvest Hawthorn Berries – Hawthorn is fairly easy to identify and harvest – I’d go so far as to say it’s one of the easiest plants to search for because it’s so distinctive and grows in abundance across much of the world. Like all wild plants, hawthorn must be harvested with care and respect, and there are a number of industry basics you should follow. According to George Symonds, in his wonderful book, Tree Identification Book: A New Method for the Practical Identification and Recognition of Trees, there are more than 1,000 species and subspecies of hawthorn in North America alone – that does not include all the species in Europe, Asia, Africa and the rest of the world.
Family, hawthorn is related to both roses and apples, along with a number of other edibles, including cherries, peaches, meadowsweet, and rowan. Hawthorn is full of natural compounds, nutrients, minerals and micronutrients that make it an incredibly valuable medicinal herb. It is the oldest known medicinal herb, appearing in records from around the world as early as the first century, and is even gaining popularity among mainstream physicians today.
When Should I Harvest Hawthorn Berries
Its primary use is for heart disease, but it is also used for digestive ailments, as an immune booster, anti-inflammatory and a general tonic, as well as for some mental health conditions and skin problems. You can find out more about the health benefits of hawthorn here. Haws (another name for the berries) have a mild apple-like flavor and make excellent jams, jellies, pie fillings and ketchup substitutes. Hawthorn also has a huge amount of folklore attached to it, including the belief that it is a fairy tree.
Add Indian Hawthorn For Spring Flowering
First, don’t obsess over just harvesting from a native species. Most hawthorns, although not native, have been naturalized for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. For me, if I’m sure it’s hawthorn, it’s growing vigorously and producing copious amounts of healthy leaves, flowers and berries, I’ll feed it.
The hawthorn leaves are small, deeply lobed and about as wide as they are long. The leaves usually appear before the first blooms. Hawthorn blooms in early to mid-spring and is often known as May flower. In flower, the tree (or shrub) displays a large number of small white (or pale pink) flowers. Hawthorn flowers appear in round-topped clusters towards the ends of the branches. Each flower has five sepals, one carpel and twenty stamens.
The fruits ripen in late summer to late autumn and vary in colour, shape and size, from orange-yellow to deep scarlet. The shapes vary from round to oblong or pear-shaped. The pulp is dry and milky – like the inside of a rosehip. Hawthorns are often used as hedge shrubs, but also grow as trees, up to 12 meters tall, although it is more common to see them between three and six meters.
Outside of hedgerows, you will find them in forests and as solitary trees in the middle of fields and meadows. In some places, they are often used as park and road trees.
Hawthorn Complete Herbal Extract Of Berry, Leaf, And Flower
Due to the high risk of contamination and absorption of chemicals, I avoid searching from trees that are close to roads.
A word of caution: As the name implies, hawthorns, also known as whitethorns or quickthorns, have sharp thorns along their branches, which makes them so valuable as hedge plants, because they create a dense, thorny wall that is not light. penetrated.
The length and sharpness of the thorns varies between species, but can be over three inches long. They are slender, strong and exceptionally sharp, so they can cause significant, painful damage if you are not careful when harvesting.
Now you’re sure the tree you’re looking at is hawthorn, it’s time to harvest. If you use the leaves, harvest them from mid-spring to early fall – this is when they are at peak health and contain the most nutrients. Later than this, when the leaves begin to turn, they lose strength.
Late Harvest Treat: Haw Jelly
Harvest flowers in clusters in mid to late spring when they are fully developed. For an extra early harvest, you can also take the buds before they open.
The berries, or hawses, ripen from early to late autumn, depending on where you are and the type of tree. When fully ripe, remove the hawthorn berries from the branches, carefully avoiding the sharp spines.
Remember that when foraging for hawthorn berries or anything else, never take more than half of what is available. You are only a small part of the larger ecosystem – and you share nature’s bounty with other creatures, from insects to birds and small mammals – it’s a delicate balance, so don’t be greedy.
Plus, of course, only taking a maximum of half is the best search practice because it ensures that the plants continue to thrive and spread for generations. If you recklessly and carelessly deplete these natural resources, within a few years they will be gone and there will be nothing left for future generations. So always be respectful when harvesting.
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Always be aware when harvesting hawthorn because of the sharp thorns, and be careful if you have children with you, as the tree can cause nasty injuries, especially to little ones.
Other than that, there’s not much to it – as long as you’re careful not to catch yourself on the thorns, harvesting hawthorn is easy.
I prefer to use fresh hawthorn whenever I can, whether for medicinal purposes or in baked goods. That’s not always possible though, plus I like to have a supply to see me through the winter months. So the easiest way is to wash and freeze the supply. You can also dehydrate the berries and leaves – but I find the flowers too delicate for my dehydrator.
One of the main ways I use hawthorn is as a tincture, due to its many healthful properties. It’s also surprisingly simple. Learn how to make hawthorn tincture with or without alcohol here. It’s not too late to harvest hawthorn berries! Sagescrub (64) in #homesteading • 5 years ago It’s mid-January and there are still hawthorn berries hanging from the hawthorn trees, despite snow, freeze and thaw conditions. I collected some yesterday and they are still quite tasty and just right ripeness. Depending on where you live you may still find hawthorn berries hanging too! Although it is too late for leaves now, I had collected some green hawthorn leaves in early fall before they changed color. I think spring and summer would be the best time to collect the leaves, but they were available to me in the fall, and that’s when I got them! The lobed leaves help me identify a hawthorn tree. I collected some berries and leaves at the same time when the berries were ripe and dried them on a plate. I had waited for the berries to ripen further and for us to get a little more frost before I harvested a lot of berries. Then one day we had a massive wind that blew down many of the berries. Since the next day looked like rain, I rushed out to collect berries from the ground and spread them out to dry. Although the leaves turned yellow, I didn’t bother to separate the berries from the leaves – partly because of time constraints as I was doing a lot of food processing, partly because I’m not picky. I’ll just use it all for tea! Hawthorn berries and leaves release a beautiful red tint to water and alcohol. This is a picture of a tea being brewed. Hawthorn is easily one of @idyllwild and my favorite hot drinks this winter, the taste is delicious! It’s rare that a day goes by that we don’t have some hawthorn brewing on the stove. I also tincture hawthorn berries for a daily medicine. As you can see, the red color is completely released from the berries to the alcohol. Hawthorn berries are revered for their ability to help build heart strength. It is recommended as a medicine to prevent a wide range of heart problems. From my understanding, Hawthorn is more of a proactive medicine/food that builds strength over time rather than a reactive medicine. I like to include Hawthorn tincture in my daily diet on days when I don’t drink hawthorn tea or infusions. Hawthorn belongs to the Crataegus genus which includes many different species. To give you an idea of the differences you may encounter: There are two hawthorn trees on this property. One has larger fruit than the other and many seeds. The other has smaller fruit and one seed. They both taste pretty similar, but one is sweeter. I have only encountered a few Hawthorn bushes in person. Here is a tree I encountered two falls ago near the Washington coast. I am saving hawthorn seeds in case I decide to include them as part of a future living fence project. Hawthorn is in the Roseacea family and you can see some similarities in the fruit with rose hips, apples, quince and other fruits in the Rose family. This does