Mayhaws are one of the most widely known of the native fruit tree species
found in Louisiana. Interest in mayhaws has been building over the last 20
years, and these plants are now managed in fruit orchards around the state.
LSU AgCenter horticulturist
Dr. Allen Owings says you can also find some mayhaw trees at local
garden centers during the winter and early spring.
"Many of us have tasted the wonderful jelly made from mayhaw fruit,"
Owings says, noting that mayhaw jelly has been approved by the
Louisiana Legislature as the state jelly.
|Berries on mayhaws are primarily red, and they ripen from mid April
to mid May. You will occasionally see some yellow-berried mayhaw
trees, although they are more common in the wild than in commercial
Owings explains that mayhaws have a low chilling hour requirement, so
white flowers appear anytime from late January through early March.
This early flowering sometimes leads to a loss of flowers and fruit
from frosts and freezes.
A member of the hawthorn family, mayhaws are native to the
southeastern United States. Mayhaws (Crataegus opaca and Crataegus
aestivalis) usually reach 20-30 feet tall at maturity and are native
to habitats that have low, wet and slightly acid soils.
Trees perform best in full sun to partial shade. The mature canopy is
ball shaped and is highly desirable as a small ornamental landscape
tree. The mounded form and exfoliating bark also are desirable
landscape characteristics. Mayhaws are highly desirable for
Do mayhaws have pest problems? Owings says cedar apple rust and fire
blight are the primary diseases, with some selections and varieties
more tolerant than others. Aphids are occasional pests on growing
terminal shoots in the spring.
Super Spur and Texas Star have been the standard cultivars planted by
the industry. The Louisiana Mayhaw Association (www.mayhaw.org)
is working on the release of a new variety, Red Majesty.
"Try a few mayhaw trees if you have not added these to your
landscape," Owings says, adding, "You will be pleased with the
landscape attributes, wildlife attraction and fruiting
For related landscape information, click on the Lawn and Garden link
at the LSU AgCenter Web site,
http://www.lsuagcenter.com. Also, contact the county agent in your local
parish LSU AgCenter office.
Source: Allen D. Owings - firstname.lastname@example.org