I have moved blackthorn shrubs, about 24 inches high, but they look dead. Moved them about 4 weeks ago.
They are likely suffering from shock associated with the move. Also, it is possible that there are air pockets in the soil that are affecting the roots. I would step firmly on the root balls to help collapse any air pockets. Flood the area with water to help fill them in. Up its watering as well. It may also have a fungus disease, so I would treat the plant with a fungicide.
If you are unsure as to whether the shrubs are still alive, this article will help: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/environmental/how-to-tell-if-a-plant-is-dead-and-how-to-recover-an-almost-dead-plant.htm
Given as a gift, but I have a very small garden. Can I grow this bush/tree in a tub? Also, would I be able to contain the size by pruning?
My research shows that this bush would be best grown in the ground and would not do well in a container.
Keeping the size contained to 6 to 8 feet with pruning is possible and will result in a manageable specimen.
I have two very small (12 inch) blackthorn bushes and am looking to put them in my garden. Should I keep them in a pot and if so, how long for, or should I put them directly into the ground?
If you can include your USDA zone I will be more than glad to help you figure out the best time to plant these. Generally, anytime the weather is mild is a good time. They will prefer to be in a fairly large container if you plan to keep them there. 8 Gallons or more will be plenty of room for several years.
In the meantime, this article will give you more information on the shrub: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/trees/blackthorn/growing-a-blackthorn-tree.htm
Thank you for the reply. I am based in Scotland so cannot give you a USDA zone.
I would like to use "slips" from the blackthorn to plant as a hedge.
You can propagate this bush from cuttings using rooting hormone and following the directions in this article:
The roots appear to have suckers growing at different intervals along the main root.
Unfortunately, when there are tree root problems, the best answer is to remove the tree.
The blackthorn would be somewhat protected under larger bushes on south side of house
Blackthorn is hardy to zone 4 so yours should be fine. Here is more information: