Pleached Hawthorn ‘Paul Scarlet’, Pleached Red Thorn, Pleached Red Hawthorn, Pleached Midland Hawthorn – Pleached Crataegus x media ‘Paul’s Scarlet’, 

Pleached Crataegus laevigata ‘Coccinea Plena’, Crataegus oxycantha ‘Paul Scarlet’, (Rosaceae)

pleached hawthorn red
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This beautiful red hawthorn is a Crataegus laevigata hybrid classified as the Crataegus x media ‘Paul’s Scarlet’. The tree produces a beautiful floral display of stunning bright red fragrant blossom which can last from the end of May to July. Shortly after the blossom, dark red berries appear. Crataegus species are real survivors and once planted they need little care and do well in all soil types.

  • Deciduous
  • Hi pleached options
  • Stem girth from 12-14cm up to 18-20cm, occasionally bigger available but they need booking in advance
  • Various stem heights and frame sizes available
  • Trained on frame in pleached form for 1-6 years
  • Pleached Hawthorn is available as freshly pleached trees while stocks last
  • Available in pots and containers, cocoa rootball or rootball
  • Nationwide delivery service by articulated lorry, smaller vehicle by prior arrangement
acer parasol trees in the nursery

Here are some examples of trees currently available. Click any image to enlarge or to send an enquiry about that specific plant.


Hawthorn ‘Paul Scarlet’, Red Thorn, Red Hawthorn, Midland Hawthorn – Crataegus x media ‘Paul’s Scarlet’, Crataegus laevigata ‘Coccinea Plena’, Crataegus oxycantha ‘Paul Scarlet’, (Rosaceae)

This really beautiful variety of Hawthorn or Red Thorn ‘Paul’s Scarlet’ is a popular hybrid of Crataegus. It is used extensively for formed trees but also as ornamental and street trees and possesses the RHS Award of Garden Merit. A wonderful, crimson flowering thorn tree, it is widely found across the United Kingdom. The first know recording of this small to medium sized deciduous tree in the United Kingdom was in a Herefordshire Garden in the 1850’s.

Growth Habit

A robust tree that enjoys being coppiced and managed in a formal fashion. The compact crown and tightly knit branches provide the perfect starting point for formal training. Mature trees vary in height from 6-10m tall, with their crowns being initially broad and spherical, becoming more rounded as they age. Small ovoid dark green leaves are produced in spring with masses of double red/magenta flowers in umbels from May to June, valuable to bees and honey making.

In its natural unmanaged form, it is common to find these trees with thorns throughout the canopy, covering all the branches and some of the stem too. Once selected for training, one of the first jobs the nurseryman undertakes is to remove the thorns on the stem, leaving only beautiful interesting, brownish grey bark on display. Small birds such as the House Sparrow particularly like all forms of Crataegus for nesting and this variety is no exception. The thorny tightly knit canopies offer safety and security from larger winged predators and domestic cats. It is quite common to see small young birds such as Sparrows, dart into a hawthorn tree to evade the likes of a Sparrow Hawk or Magpie. This impenetrable habit is ideal for creating natural barriers (potentially replacing the need for walls and fences). Dark red berries follow shortly after the flowers and offer a natural food source into the autumn to a variety of birds. The berries are usually considered nontoxic and have been used occasionally to make jelly and even homemade wines.

Development & Maintenance

Winter hardy and frost resistant the ‘Paul Scarlet’ is ideally suited to the British climate. On exposed sites this tough trees will need support after planting as root development is relatively slow and it can take some time for the tree to anchor itself to the surrounding soil. Pruning the crown at this time is an option to reduce the “sail area”, but this is normally carried out prior to shipping by all good nurseries. Pruning the crown of course won’t be necessary with pretrained formed trees such as pleached trees are supplied as their canopies are constantly pruned back during the training process, but support may still be necessary. The root plate tolerates being covered by hard landscaping although the necessary steps need to be followed to prevent them from being damaged during installation. This tough tree will tolerate most soil types and is happy in both wet and dry conditions, it is a real survivor and will thrive happily where other varieties may fail. Crataegus can be found growing quite happily close to the coast as hedgerows and natural trees and form trees. These ornamental trees are used widely in small and large gardens, parks, squares and open landscapes.


As well as pleached Hawthorn, they are popular as hedge plants, clear stem trees, multi stems, block on stem and roof form trees. Available as rootball plants in the winter months, potted stock available while stocks last and cocoa rootball can be arranged for delivery throughout summer period by prior arrangement.

Planting advice for Pleached trees, Freshly Pleached trees, Espalier trees and Freshly Espaliered trees.

An important consideration when planting pleached or espalier trees in a straightfreshly pleached trees ready to be planted line is the slope of the ground. Pleached or Espalier trees look their best when they are planted on flat or gently sloping ground. Doing so will line up the frames and stems and creating effect of one continuous line when viewed at all angles. Even on a gradual slope this effect can be achieved. However, with a slope of more than 10-12 degrees, it may be necessary to step the trees/frames when planting (the frames on freshly pleached trees can be manipulated to account for a sharper slope of perhaps 15 degree if necessary).

To create a good visual effect, it is important to line up the stems and frames (unless you are planting them in a circle or semi-circle). To start off the planting holes should measure roughly double the width of the rootball or pot….

Read our full planting guide here

How are Pleached Trees made?

freshly pleaching trees on framePleached trees or screen trees start life as a seedling or cutting, much like any other tree, being repotted or replanted a number of times in their formative years. They grow happily on the nursery with hundreds or even thousands of other trees. When the time is right, highly skilled nurserymen and woman go out into the field amongst the trees with tags in hand and pick the very best trees for pleaching. The criteria for choosing the best trees for training includes, selecting those with the straightest stems, healthy root stock and appropriately spreading and uninform crowns. Once tagged and lifted the trees are loaded onto trailers and sent to potting sheds for training. Read our full guide to pleaching trees here

Delivery varies depending on:lifting large plants over a house

  • How many trees you require
  • If you want us to plant them
  • Accessibility of the site
  • If any need sourcing
  • The seasonal ability to lift or plant specific species

    Please contact us to discuss your individual requirements.

We Have Many More Pleached Species Available

Read more about pleached trees or click on a particular species below.


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