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I can't really say how long to let blackthorn dry. I've taken sticks from the woods and immediately carved faces in them and made canes. Many turned out just fine but a few of the harder woods (oasage orange specifically) would crack in a couple of months.

Having never worked with blackthorn, I'd say you probably should let it dry a minimum of 6 months and it would be better if you could let it go a couple of years.

I really like the third one from the left. I can see a great walking stick coming out of that one.
 
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