Thorny Tree – Decorate with Gumdrops

Q: My family went on an annual woods trek with my 83-year-old mother to look for what she calls a “hall tree”. It is a small prickly bush that we piece together into Styrofoam and adorn with gumdrops to make a festive tree. Do you have any inkling of what plant I’m talking about?

A: This puzzled me at first. But my friend Arty Schronce, Public Affairs Director for the Georgia Department of Agriculture, writes an weekly email of and I thought he might know. Sure enough, back in 2013, he wrote about folks using the thorns of trifoliate orange, Poncirus trifoliata, to make Christmas decorations. I’ll bet that’s what you’re looking for.


But Linda T. disagrees! “After reading your column in today’s AJC, I believe the ‘haw’ tree that Deana B. was looking for would be one of the native hawthorns, Crataegus spp. I am from NC and my grandmother shared this Christmas tradition also.”

trifoliate orange 2 crop

trifoliate orange

  • Advertisement