Should I control Cockspur Hawthorn?

By Grant Woods,

  Filed under:

← Grant's AnswersHabitat Management
Hello again Dr. Grant and Adam,
The woods I hunt in is small in Wisconsin and is being overrun with Cockspur Hawthorn. I am wondering if there is any wildlife value of it to deer or turkeys or if it would be better to be cut down and taken out? I know it makes small fruit but the deer don’t seem to eat it due to the huge Ag fields around. It has taken up most the woods and I am trying to put in more bedding areas. If it does need to come out I will being doing so with the hack and squirt method because I have over 5 acres that is thick with it and I have limited time that I will be home to work on it. What would work better on it Tordon RTU or glyphosate if the hack and squirt method is the way to go? Lastly, I am going home the next few weeks and it is expected to be in the 40’s for highs and low 30’s at night. Will it work treating trees at this time of year in Wisconsin or will that be a waste of time? I won’t be home at all in the spring when the prime time is to treat the trees due to sap flowing. Thank you for your time and God bless!


Grouse and turkeys will consume the Cockspur Hawthorn berries.  However, this species spreads easily and is considered a noxious weed in some areas.  I suspect there’s much better vegetation that can grow on your farm.  I suggest controlling enough of it to keep it from spreading if not more.  

For more information, check out:

I’ve never tried to control Cockspurr Hawthorn and didn’t find which is the preferred herbicide during a quick internet search. I suggest you research this a bit more. Be careful working around those thorns!

Enjoy creation,


December 16, 2015