Crataegus laevigata (central Europe, northern Africa, western Asia)
(= C. oxycantha)
Habit: Large shrub or small tree, 2-5 m, even 8-10 m tall and 3-6 m wide; varying habits, asymmetrical to broadly round crown, usually with several stems; twigs horizontal to arching; moderate growth, 15-25 cm year.
Flowers: White corymbs, occasionally pale pink when withering; in May after leaves shoot, some 2-3 weeks before C. monogyna; pungent smell.
Fruits: Ovoid, like berries, shiny red, from August; edible but tasteless.
Leaves: Reverse ovoid or almost round, unclearly lobed, dark to almost black-green, conspicuously shiny; yellow-orange to bronze in autumn from October to November.
Twigs: Grey with sharp, pointy thorns, takes well to cutting.
Roots: Deep roots with far-reaching lateral roots, not sensitive to covering with loose material, sensitive to soil compaction and pavement.
Demands: Sun to semi-shade, likes warmth, frost hardy, prefers higher humidity than C. monogyna; wind resistant, tolerant of urban pollution.
Soil: Moderately dry to moist; slightly acidic to alkaline; humic loam, sandy-rocky or sandy-gravely loam, nutritious, sensitive to salt.
Note: Hedge cutting should be done in June after flowering. Later cutting makes the wood too hard and rough. Crateagus laevigata shoots willingly and is exceptionally resistant to mechanical injuries of all kinds.
Hardiness: Zone 5b