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Hawthorn Tree

Could someone please tell me what is wrong with my tree. Something is eating  the leaves. There are orange spots on the top and bottom of the leaves. The ones underneath are slightly raised. There are lots of tiny little spiders on the tree. Also ants are going to the very end of the branches where some new leaves are and spending a lot of time underneath the leaves. Quite a lot of leaves are shrivelling up and dying. Also, I have noticed a split at the base of the trunk. Thank you. 


  • nick615nick615 Posts: 1,288
    There are far more knowledgeable members than me but, in my experience, hawthorn is pretty much indestructible, and I get the feeling that, if you cut it down to just above ground level, it would sprout again.  I'm not suggesting that but, apart from keeping an eye on it, I'd tend not to worry too much?
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 9,971
    The orange spots are likely Rust - which is just one of those things that happen.
    As far as I know there are no treatments, but it's unlikely to have any significant effect on the plant's health.

    The little brown things on the leaves look like they may be scale insect eggs under their protective covering.
    To check if they are, have a look underneath one and see if there's some fluffy cotton wool like stuff underneath.
    If it is, again it's unlikely to have any serious impact, but you could spray the whole tree in winter with a Winter Tree Wash (e.g. Vitax)
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Thank you both. 
  • I've noticed some changes in the orange spots under the leaves. They look like they're growing legs! Also, I found one leaf with lots of eggs on it. Does anyone know what they are? 

  • This is a clearer picture
  • Those eggs look to me like they are becoming baby ladybirds which would be great for your tree as they will clear your tree of aphids and other pests.
  • Thank you. Do you know what's growing out of the orange spots?
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    edited June 2021
    The 'legs' are the fruiting bodies of Hawthorn rust which release spores.  Those spores go on to infect the 2nd host in this disease, a Juniper.  There, they grow into the 2nd form of the fungus which forms galls, then jelly-like growths, which finally release spores which go on to infect hawthorns (plus other related trees, like apples), thus completing the cycle.
    I think the little hatchlings are Shield bugs, which go through several "instars" before becoming adults.  They are sap-suckers, but cause insignificant amounts of damage, so are nothing to worry about. :)
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,737
    We love shieldbugs … they’re beautiful and do negligible damage if any. 
    We get rust similar to that on our espaliered pear … we pick the affected leaves off and bag and bin them because we can, but with a larger bushier tree like a hawthorn I think it would be impossible … I’d leave it and not worry … it’s just part of the wonderful world of nature and is fascinating 
    it certainly won’t kill your tree. It’s only affecting the leaves. It’s not in the tree itself. 😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

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