By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer
Mayhaw trees grow wild in the swampy, lowland areas of the southern United States, as far west as Texas. Related to apple and pear, mayhaw trees are attractive, midsize specimens with spectacular springtime blooms. Small, round mayhaw fruits, which looks similar to small crabapples, are prized for making delicious jams, jellies, syrup and wine. If you’re wondering how to propagate a mayhaw, search no further!
Growing new mayhaws can be achieved by seed or cuttings.
Some people have good luck planting mayhaw seeds directly outdoors, but experts provide the following information:
Gather mayhaw fruit in fall, when they’re mature but not fully ripe. Soak the mayhaws in warm water for a few days to loosen the pulp, then place the clean seeds in a container filled with damp sand.
Store the seeds in the refrigerator for at least 12 weeks, and then plant them outdoors in late winter.
Cut a few healthy mayhaw stems when the growth is firm enough to snap when bent. Stems should be 4 to 6 inches long (10-15 cm.). Remove all but the top two leaves. Cut the two remaining leaves in half horizontally. Dip the tips of the stems in rooting hormone, either powder, gel or liquid.
Plant the stems in small pots filled with well-drained potting mix or a mixture of half peat and half fine bark. The potting mix should be moistened ahead of time but shouldn’t be dripping wet. Cover the pots with plastic to create a greenhouse-like atmosphere.
Place the pots in indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight, which may scorch the cuttings. Place the pots on a heat mat.
Check the cuttings regularly. Water lightly if the potting mix feels dry. Remove the plastic when the cuttings have rooted and are showing new growth.
Transplant the cuttings into larger pots in spring. Allow the small mayhaw trees to mature to a healthy size before planting them outdoors.
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It's a berry Southern thing.
My family loves mayhaws. What's a mayhaw, you ask?
If you asked my nephew, he'd say, "Mayhaw—that's the jelly I like." If you asked my mom, she'd say, "Mayhaws—that's those berries I have to pick up every May." When I call my mom during the month of May, she's most likely under the mayhaw trees, gathering mayhaws, preparing juice, making jelly, and freezing the leftover berries for later. The mayhaw, the fruit of the mayhaw tree, is a lesser-known berry that is harvested in—you guessed it—May. They're actually hawthorn berries that ripen and drop in early summer, around the month of May.
Mayhaw trees (Crataegus aestivalis, C. opaca, and C . rufula) are indigenous to the southern United States and grow in the wild as far west as Texas. They thrive in South's wetland environments and produce small, tart-to-tasteless, berry-sized fruits that range in hue from yellow to red. In the wild, mayhaw berries look very much like cranberries or small crabapples. They vary in taste, but the berries are usually fruity and tart. Most would say they're far too tart to eat straight from the tree—and that's where the jelly comes in.
The joy of the mayhaw is the making of its eponymous jelly. Mayhaw jelly is one of the South's greatest culinary pleasures, at breakfast or otherwise. Slather it on a slice of toast or add it to a dessert dish, and you'll find yourself enjoying a truly Southern flavor, a sweet jelly with just a hint of puckering tartness. The ideal color of mayhaw jelly depends on your taste preferences, your jelly-making skills, and the year's berry harvest, but my family prefers a jar of clarified crimson, a clear cranberry hue. Mayhaw syrup is also a Southern favorite. You can make your own jelly and syrup, or you can buy it—a strategy that provides all of the flavor and requires none of the effort.
Some Southern towns celebrate mayhaws by hosting spring- and summertime mayhaw festivals. Colquitt, Georgia Daisetta, Texas El Dorado, Arkansas Marion, Louisiana and Starks, Louisiana all have annual mayhaw fests. If you're curious, or if you like mayhaws as much as my family does, you'll want to drop by a mayhaw festival and taste-test some jellies the very next chance you get.
Thanks to my mom's mayhaw-gathering and jelly-making efforts, we're flush with mayhaw spreads all year long. If you want to cultivate your own, you can buy mayhaw trees for future harvests (here and here), or you can go searching. If you find yourself near a creek or river in the South, look around for a mayhaw tree. If it's May (and if you're lucky), you may soon be looking at the makings of some tasty mayhaw jelly.
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Have you tasted a mayhaw? How about mayhaw jelly? We know there are more than a few Southern families—not just mine—who make a big batch every year in the summertime.
Mayhaw generally grows as a deciduous shrub, or small tree, with thorns and moderately small leaves of varying shapes depending on the species. The flowers of five white petals, sometimes six, bloom before the leaves appear. Mayhaw fruit are small (1/2 to 2/3 inches in diameter), round, fragrant, acid and juicy.
Also, what is a mayhaw tree? The Mayhaw tree is a small native fruit tree growing from east Texas to Georgia and as far north as Kentucky. This showy tree is primarily found in bottomland and along the river's edge. It is known for its love of water but will grow well in your yard or home garden, as well.
One may also ask, how long does it take for a mayhaw tree to produce fruit?
Harvest the fruit when the tree begins bearing, two to three years after planting. Mayhaw ripens in April or May.
Where does mayhaw jelly come from?
It's the wild legacy of the South: the mayhaw. Found in the swamps and rivers of the Southern United States (Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and East Texas), this small red fruit can be used to make juices, jams, jellies and syrups.
According to Crataegus tree info, the mayhaw expands in the wild in the reduced southerly states. The trees expand in marshy locations as well as swamps, yet likewise grow in wet, well-draining dirt.
Plant this tree on well-drained dirt that is somewhat acidic. When you are expanding mayhaws, permit lots of space around the growing website. The trees live for a very long time as well as could expand a really large cover.
Your tree will most likely be simpler to deal with if you trim it out to one trunk. Cut the branches periodically to maintain the facility open up to sunshine. Bear in mind that this is an indigenous tree as well as will not call for much various other upkeep.
Mayhaw seed proliferation is a trusted method to expand brand-new trees, as they usually expand real to kind. It’s simple to multiply mayhaw by seed, yet it can take a long period of time. Germination might take as long as 18 months, so be prepared to be individual.
The seeds require around 12 weeks of cold stratification in order to sprout, which imitates that all-natural overwintering of seeds. Shop the seeds in damp paper towel in a secured bag in the fridge to chilly stratify. You can after that allow them sprout in warmer problems, which might take numerous much more months.
Mayhaw seeds sowing can be carried out in very early springtime, after any kind of risk of frost, when you have little seed startings. As an option to stratifying and also sprouting the seeds inside, you can attempt sowing the seeds straight from ripe fruit. This can be hit-or-miss, yet it ought to just be tried in autumn when the seeds will certainly after that have the ability to undergo the all-natural stratification procedure.
Growing mayhaw from seeds is extensive yet simple. You can additionally make use of cuttings to circulate– make use of a root promoting hormone if you do not desire to wait that lengthy to obtain a tree. You can seek transplants at a baby room also, which are generally implanted to hawthorn rootstock.