Tree of the Week

Washington Hawthorn: A Blossom Amongst Thorns

By Sheereen Othman | August 5, 2015

 (crataegus phaenopyrum)

Washington-Hawthorn_1-846[1]If you’re looking to fill in the open spaces in your yard, or just add a bit of color to your landscaping, the Washington hawthorn is a great option. First introduced to Pennsylvania from Washington, the tree earned its name because of its prominent thorns.

Legend has it that Paul Bunyan used the Washington hawthorn’s branches as a back scratcher. Here are a few things to note if you’re considering adding one to your landscape.

Environmental Factors

  • Grows 1-2 feet a year reaching 25-30 feet at maturity.
  • Versatile tree, growing in a wide variety of hardiness zone (4-8).
  • Prefers full sun (6 hours of direct sunlight a day).
  • Drought-tolerant, grows in acidic, alkaline, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained, wet and clay soils.

Physical Attributes

  • Blooms white flowers with reddish-purple leaves.
  • Produces bright red berries that hang until the winter. It is popular amongst birds.
  • Develops thorns on its branches, making it an effective barrier.
washington hawthorn berry

Flickr | Taryn Domingos

Do you have a Washington hawthorn in your yard? Share a picture below!

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  • Reply Tyler Lamb August 12, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    I have trimmed and cared for many of these trees. They are definitely among the most beautiful trees that you can put in your yard and they smell good too!

    I’d highly reccommend them!

    P.s. I love your blog and everything your foundation stands for!

  • Reply Steven - Isa Certified Arborist August 14, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    This site is filled with tree care info! So glad I came across this! The way a blog should be. Id like to share a link to this blog on my website for my customers if I’m aloud.
    Please let me know!

    • Reply Sheereen Othman August 14, 2015 at 1:52 pm

      Hi Steven,

      So happy you could benefit from it. Feel free to share with whoever you’d like 🙂

  • Reply Edward - Tulsa Tree Service April 15, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    Really enjoyed this, great read. Posting it on my company FB page.

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