My Heart is Breaking – Over a Tree

I’ve had a dream for about 15 years of a driveway lined on both sides with Hawthorne trees  – specifically Crataegus  viridis  ‘Winter King’.   I admire its ( admittedly malodorous) white flowers, its bright red berries that persist through the winter; but mostly it is the horizontal, openly irregular branching pattern that thrills me.  I can see it giving a sense of destination along the driveway, a sheltering quality that anticipates the shelter to come.  It leads the eye both upward and outward, saying “There is something worthwhile beyond”.   And it is a four-season tree – I think I would grow it for the winter branching pattern alone.

However in Kansas the Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) is widespread.  And unfortunately  it co-hosts a fungus disease with apples and Hawthornes.  Cedar Apple Rust Hawthorneand  Cedar Hawthorne Rust.   All the books say that ‘Winter King’ is the most resistant to rust.  But ‘most resistant’ is not resistant.  And Red Cedars are everywhere around our property.  It’s native to this area.  There are anti-fungal sprays that are effective.  But that would become a permanent chore.  And one of my goals is to plant things that are habitat-suitable, at least as much as possible.


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