Hawthorn Coming Into Leaf Early
Hawthorn Coming Into Leaf Early

This looks like Hawthorn to us and it shouldn’t be coming into leaf yet. Admittedly, this is a sunny, sheltered part of the road, the place where the frost and snow (and even ice a couple of times this winter) melts first. It’s half way up the hill and on the south facing side. I guess that this gives it the benefit of whatever sunshine there is going to be and shelter from northerly winds. The hawthorn was called the hedgethorn in German long before we corrupted it into hawthorn. It’s interesting to think that a having a hawthorn hedge along a field boundary is continuing a tradition that goes back thousands of years, people have been walking along hawthorn hedges trimming them into neatness for as long as we’ve had fields that needed some form of¬†demarcation. A slightly wry thought, as animals were generally allowed to graze on common land that long ago, hedges were probably, mostly there to keep them out of the crops. These days, hedges there are mainly to keep the stock in the fields. Hedges aren’t popular in fields with crops.

Bakers were always keen to have hawthorn wood to burn in their ovens as it burns longer and hotter than any other. Hawthorn has a fine grain for veneers and will take a high polish. The wood is very hard and durable, useful for the teeth on cogs in machinery used in mills – and of course if you need a stake to put through the heart of a vampire, there’s nothing better than a nice piece of hawthorn.

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