Hawthorn Lumber – Characteristics and Common Uses

Hawthorn wood uses

The tree that produces Hawthorn lumber originates in Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia.

It is rather a medium size on the tree scale, growing to an average height of 30’ with a trunk diameter of 18”.

Despite its average size, most Hawthorn trees do not grow large enough to be used for larger projects such as furniture.

Instead, you’ll find the wood being used for smaller items such as those found in crafts or hobbies.

However, it does have some strong attributes that make it a popular type of wood in this field.

Hawthorn Lumber

Scientific Name:Crataegus monogyna
Tree Size:20-40 ft (6-12 m) tall
1-2 ft (.3-.6 m) trunk diameter
Janka Hardness:1,860 lbf (8,250 N)*
*Estimated hardness based on specific gravity
Odor:No smell
Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC):.66, .78
Common Uses:For Turning objects and carving


The wood itself is rather unremarkable in nature, at least in terms of its overall appearance.

When being cut, there is no noticeable scent that comes from the wood itself


The sapwood is cream-colored, while the heartwood carries quite the range.

From dark, reddish-brown up to the creaminess of the sapwood, the variety of colors in the heartwood is considerable. This makes the Hawthorn quite interesting in terms of what color combinations are found.  

Texture & Grains:

The texture of the Hawthorn wood is quite fine and uniform in nature. This also means that wood offers a good natural luster.

Because the tree is on a medium to small scale, the grains are rather fine. However, this does not translate into good rot or insect resistance. Expect to treat the wood if you want it to last.

Hawthorn Wood Workability

The wood itself is rather easy to work with and perhaps perfect for those who are just starting out in woodworking.

The downside is that the wood can be difficult to dry. This means distortions and warpage are common unless you properly dry out the wood.

If you can dry out the wood, then it is still quite workable. This makes holding shapes easier with less distortion.

What is Hawthorn Wood Used for?

The most common uses for Hawthorn wood are carving, turned objects, and any small specialty objects.

This is due to the relatively small size of the wood itself despite the overall size of the tree from which it comes.

It is rather safe to work with as, apart from the typical reactions that come from wood dust; it has no other negative attributes in terms of being a health problem.

If you are looking for a wood that is similar to boxwood, then Hawthorn wood may be the answer if you can find it at the right price.

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