Crataegus monogyna


Family: Rosaceae

Origin: Europe

Hawthorn shrub in flower.
A small shrub planted to form fences by early settlers. Stems have sharp thorns.

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • Whole region — Sustained control
  • Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area Notice pest

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Dense, deciduous shrub or small tree < 14 m tall. Stems are thorny. Leaves are deeply lobed and toothed. Flowers are small, white and borne in corymbs in spring. Fruit is dark red and borne in summer – autumn.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell hawthorn within the Auckland region.
  • You must not plant hawthorn within the Auckland region, unless you are transferring an existing plant on your land to another location within the boundaries of the same property.
  • You must destroy any hawthorn on land that you occupy if it has been planted in breach of the above rules and you are directed to do so by an authorised person.


Forest margins, scrub, disturbed forest, roadsides, pasture, coastal and lowland areas.


Seeds dispersed by birds and possums.

Impact on environment

Forms dense thickets, excluding native vegetation. Provides food resource to exotic birds and mammals. Root intrusion on tūpuna maunga affects threatened plants and archaeological features.


Site Management

Follow up treated areas 3 times per year. Encourage natural regeneration of native plants or replant treated areas where possible after 2-3 treatments to establish dense ground cover and minimise reinvasion.

Recommended approaches

Physical control

Method: Dig out.

Plant parts requiring disposal: Seeds.

Disposal options: Remove to greenwaste or landfill if practical.


Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

Community agrichemical control recommendations

No qualifications: Cut stump and paste freshly cut base of stems with metsulfuron gel. Large stems can be frilled and pasted with metsulfuron gel.

Basic Growsafe certified: Cut stump and spray freshly cut base with 5g metsulfuron-methyl per 1 L of water.

Certified Handler/Experienced agrichemical user: Foliar spray with 5g metsulfuron-methyl per 10L of water and 20ml penetrant.

Safety notes

Plant has spines.

Caution: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Hawthorn on stream edge with prolific, small flowers.
Seeds are eaten by birds and distributed across farms. Wood is dense and hard and trees are not grazed by stock.
Close up of mature Hawthorn berries.
Can grow in many conditions and seeds germinate easily. Beautiful red fruit is attractive to birds.
Photo credit: Weedbusters
Hawthorn branch covered in mature berries.
Leaves have a unique shape with lobes and teeth. Deep roots can damage threatened plants and archaeological features.
Photo credit: Weedbusters