Red hawthorn Crataegus Paul’s Scarlet

British Grown
Volume 1+
Price per plant £120.00
Price £120.00

All prices include VAT

Product description



Double red flowers in May sing out from the branches of this robust little tree which is otherwise indistinguishable from the white hawthorn until this burst of cheerful colour,  announcing the arrival of summer. Paul’s Scarlet grows to 6m (20ft) with a generally rounded shape. Although the lobed leaves are only small they are densely packed, forming a good screen during spring and summer. Even in winter the framework of stout, interweaving branches still offers useful cover. Birds often nest among the thorns and eat the red autumn berries.

Where to grow

Hawthorns extend the spring blossom season by flowering shortly after the cherries so would certainly add interest to larger planting schemes. Paul's Scarlet in particular provides an ornamental twist on an otherwise native tree with its eye-catching double red flowers and would therefore be good planted in or near a natural mixed hedge bordering the garden. This tree tolerates exposed sites and grows in full sun or partial shade on a wide range of soil types, even on soils over chalk.

Did you know?

This tree dates from 1858 and is a sport (mutation) of pink hawthorn that was found in Herfordshire and was noted to have flowers of a more vibrant and far deeper shade.

Mature height
Small - 5-10 metres
0-5 meters
Round Headed
Growth rate
Soil type
All soil types
Sun levels
Full sun
Partial shade
Difficulty/hard to grow
Season of interest
Autumn colour
Small leaves
Flower colour
Flowering type
Flowering month
Scented Flowers
Berries/fruit colour
Garden Tree
Small garden Tree
City/Urban Sites
Bird Food


Pruning Crataegus Paul’s Scarlet

Crataegus Paul’s Scarlet will naturally branch from the base, but can be trained as a standard with a clear stem of up to 2m. Train over several years, annually removing the lowest lateral stems.  Congestion of the crown is something to watch out for; remove stems that are severely crossing to limit any damage.

What time of year is best to prune? Prune in winter, or light prune in spring after flowering.

For the continued healthy growth of your trees, shrubs or hedging it is vital that you follow the advice below.


The main reason that plants die within 12 months of having been planted is lack of water.  It is essential throughout the spring and summer, to give a heavy enough watering to enable the water to penetrate right down to the deepest root level of the tree.  In hot dry spells give the equivalent of 2 bucketfuls every three days.

Weed Control

One of the most common causes of lack of water is competition from grass.  When trees are first establishing, the grass roots would be at the same level as the tree roots and are far more efficient at taking up water and thus choke the tree.  It is vital for 3 years after planting that your tree or hedge has a circle or strip one  metre wide completely free of grass.  The way to eliminate grass in order of effectiveness is:

  1. Spray off the grass with a glyphosate based weed killer such as Roundup.  Apply each year for the first 3 years.  It is best applied when the tree is dormant as it is absorbed through green leaves and kills the plant off at the roots.
  2. Firmly fit a mulch mat around the base of the tree by tucking the edges into the soil and put a thick layer of bark mulch on top of this.  This can be done after the initial spraying with glyphosate and should avoid the need for further spraying.

Mowing or strimming is NOT an answer to the problem.  Each time you mow, the grass will grow back more vigorously and strimming invariably leads to lacerated trunks.


If trees are not correctly secured they will rock in the planting pit. Roots not firmly in contact with the soil are unable to take up moisture and nutrients, resulting in die back or death of the tree.  Check, particularly after windy weather, that stakes are still solidly in the ground keeping the base of the trunk firm.  The purpose of the stakes is to anchor the roots.   Flexing in the wind, higher up the trunk, is not necessarily a problem if the roots are firm.

Bellow is list of the correct system to use to secure your trees.

  • 40/60, 60/80, 80/100 whips - Unless rabbit/deer problem no need to stake.
  • 100/125, 125/150  1.2m Cane and Easi tie.
  • 150/175  1.2m square stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • 175/250, 6/8, 8/10 15L 1.65 Tree stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • All larger trees. 2 x 1.65 Tree stake and cross rail with 38mm cushion spacer and 1m of 38mm strapping.


Always use our recommended tree ties or strapping.  These are designed and manufactured with the correct amount of give to hold the tree firm without strangling it. They should be checked at the end of each growing season for adjustment as the trunk thickens.  Non proprietary materials such as baler twine will cut into the bark and should not be used.

Protection from Animal Damage

Rabbits, deer, sheep, cattle and horses can all potentially damage trees.  Ask us for advice on the most appropriate guards for your trees or hedge.  Squirrels are also a terrible pest when trees get to about 20ft tall but there is no protection available.


By Angela Palmer on 11/05/2014

why is my 7 year old Cratageus Pauls Scarlet not flowering please…Very healthy foliage approx 7’ high

By Simon on 12/05/2014

Hello Angela,

It can take a few years for trees to flower but after 7 years you would expect it to have done so by now. Do you prune it regularly?

By kate on 08/05/2015

Can I cut the lower branches of my three year old Pauls Scarlet,and when is the best time to do it?

By Simon on 18/05/2015

Hello Kate,

Yes you can cut the lower branches off if you want to change the shape and give it a clear stem. Now would be a good time to do it as the cuts will heal quickly and the tree will have all summer to grow.

Kind regards,


By Ron on 04/08/2015

Is it possible to prune this tree to keep it at about 2m?

By Simon on 10/08/2015

Hello Ron,

Yes, you can prune this hawthorn to keep it at 2m.

By steve on 05/12/2015

does it keep its leaves and is it evergreen

By Simon on 07/12/2015

Hello Steve,

Hawthorn isn’t evergreen, it loses its leaves in winter. To find evergreen trees on the website, you can use the evergreen/deciduous filter on the left hand side of the screen when in the ‘Trees’ section.

By Valerie Lowe on 31/03/2016

My Paul’s Scarlet has died 16 years after we planted it. From about 8 years old, it provided a nesting spot for a pair of goldfinches which is another reason I am disappointed, in addition to having no blossom to look forward to. Can I plant another (or something else) in the same place when we have taken this one out, or is it likely that the problem originated, and remains, in the soil? I would be very grateful for an opinion and some advice if possible please.

By Claire on 07/05/2016

How many years old would the 2m tree be, please?

By MIKE GUSTAFSON on 09/05/2016

We have a Paul Scarlet Hawthorn, probably 4 years old, and this is the first year it’s had profuse blooms. Strangely, we noticed today that there’s an area of white blooms on it. Is this strange? We have many of these trees in this area and I’ve never seen white blooms on a Scarlet Hawthorne.

By Simon on 18/05/2016

Hello Valerie,

Sorry to hear about your Paul’s Scarlet. You will have to be careful with your choice of replacement as Crataegus is in the Rosaceae family. This means that if you plant another tree from this family in the same place, it could fail due to replant disease, which is specific to Rosaceae. If you do want to plant another Rosaceae tree such as a crab apple or hawthorn, you would need to replace the soil in approx 1m radius so prevent replant disease. If you choose a non-Rosaceae tree you don’t need to worry about replant disease. Without seeing the tree it is difficult to say what caused the original problem. I hope you are able to attract the goldfinches back!

By mike Holly on 19/05/2016

Guys, Its the first time this year my Pauls Scarlet has flowered, its around 5 years old… its around 3m tall and is just getting direct sunlight over a fence which its been hidden behind until this year.
I say its flowered… I’ve been waiting so long for this moment. What dissapointment,  The flowers are white!!
I bought from a reputable dealer, paid a fair amount for it.
Does the flower colour change as it get older, do the white flowers turn red after a few days, do I need to feed it something to promote the red, or have I been had?
I could have pulled a white one from the hundreds of white ones growing around here naturally!
So dissapointed… not sure I will live long enough to see another one to maturity.. :(

By Simon on 20/05/2016

Hello Claire,

A 2m tree would be approximately 5 years old.

By Simon on 20/05/2016

Hello Mike,

This does sound strange. Crataegus Paul’s Scarlet is a sport of the double pink variety (C. Rosea Flore Pleno) so I wouldn’t expect to see any white flowers on it, even if it reverted to this. I wonder if the white flowers are on sprouts coming from below the graft?

By Simon on 25/05/2016

Hello Mike Holly,

As mentioned in my post to the other Mike with the same issue, it is odd to see white flowers on this tree. I wonder whether your trees are from the same batch. If you would like, you can send us a photo at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

By Marion on 08/07/2016

Hi Simon.
I planted my Crataegus Paul’s Scarlet 9 years ago and it has been flowering beautifully for about 6/7 years. Unfortunately, it just won’t grow. It produces leaves but never any new branches or shoots so is the same size as when I bought it (about 5’). I apply a general fertiliser in late spring. Any ideas as to what could be wrong? Thanks.

By Simon on 13/07/2016

Hello Marion,

I wonder whether the roots are circling and this is stunting the tree’s growth? This can occur if the tree was pot bound before planting, or if the soil conditions are preventing the roots from spreading out. It is even possible for circling roots to girdle the base of the tree trunk. This can occur if the tree is planted too deep or in compacted ground. To see if this is the problem, you could dig down a little to have a look at the roots. Depending on how bad the problem is, you may be able to remedy it, but after nine years it may be too late I’m afraid. To ensure that tree roots grow out laterally, we recommend digging holes manually rather than using a digger, which can ‘glaze’ or ‘polish’ the sides of the hole, and also that you tease out any circling roots. A square hole is also better than a round hole for encouraging roots to spread rather than circle.

By Gemma Caswell on 01/09/2016

Hi, I’ve had my Pauls Scarlett hawthorn for 4-5 years and I get an abundance of flowers in spring and a few berries in winter. It is about 6ft tall and leggy as
I’m not sure how to prune but it’s healthy. I am due to move house in a few months and wish it take it with as it is a memorial tree for my Father (Paul) who passed away. Are there any rules I should follow when moving it? Thank you.

By Simon on 02/09/2016

Hello Gemma,

Moving trees is a little risky once they are established. You can certainly attempt it, though. If possible, wait until winter when all the leaves have fallen off. When digging up, take as much of the root system as possible and put a plastic bag around the roots once it is out of the ground. Plant in its new position within 24 hours, or heel in somewhere if this isn’t possible (loosely plant it, temporarily). Put a stake on the tree to help it establish in its new position, which you can remove after a few years.

By Ian on 07/06/2017

Hi, my Pauls Scarlett Hawthorn is growing well albeit it is growing rather tall and slim. Is it okay to cut the top off a bit, is there a specific way in which it must be done or a particular time of year? I have been cutting off the lower branches annually to form a decent amount of trunk and they seem to be healing nicely. I had my first flowers this year, beautiful bright red, though they have now faded somewhat. Great web site! Thank you.

By Simon on 09/06/2017

Hello Ian,

You can carry out some light pruning just after flowering. Hopefully the crown will spread out as it matures. Glad you got to enjoy some flowers this year and that you like the new website!

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