Winter King Hawthorn – Propagation from Seeds/Berries

Q: There is a stand of ‘Winter King’ hawthorn on Ronald Regan Parkway near the Webb Gin House exit. They are beautiful now. Can I use the seeds/berries to make new trees?

A: It will be tough to get the seeds to germinate. Hawthorn seeds are “doubly dormant”. They require two years of successive warm and cold temperatures to sprout. If you want to try, collect the berries and soak in water until soft enough to crush and remove the outer pulp. Plant 100 seeds an inch deep in a sunny two foot by two foot area and cover with chicken wire to prevent squirrel damage. Pull weeds as seen. You might get 20 percent germination after two years.