Hawthorn Tree Identification

The genus name “Hazel” comes from the Old English word hāwelan which means “to prick”. The common name “hairy hawthorne” refers to its hairy appearance. Hawthorns are native to Europe and Asia, but they have been introduced into North America (particularly the eastern United States) where they thrive in dry, rocky areas such as mountainsides.

They grow up to 30 feet tall and produce large, red berries. These berries contain a toxin called quercetin that causes severe skin irritation when eaten.

Types Of Hawthorn Trees: How To Grow Hawthorn In The Landscape

There are two types of hawthorns: crimson cloud hawthorns and Washington Hawthorns. Crimson Cloud Hawks are the most common type found in the eastern U.S.

They prefer rocky areas with little moisture. They do not tolerate full sun or shade, so they are best planted in locations with some cover. Washington Hawthorns are the second most common type found in the eastern U.S., and they prefer moist sites, but they will survive under rocks and other debris if necessary.

The washington hawthorn bears large amounts of fruit, the size of a small marble, it is an important food source for wildlife. The crimson cloud hawthorn’s berries are much smaller, but are still eaten by birds and small mammals. They also provide nesting spots for birds: the thorns provide protection from predators while the interior of the hawthorn offers shelter and nesting space.

Sources & references used in this article:

Residual Toxicity of Imidacloprid to Hawthorn Lace Bug, Corythuca cydoniae, Feeding on Cotoneasters in Landscapes and Containers by A Szczepaniec, MJ Raupp – Journal of Environmental …, 2007 – meridian.allenpress.com

Forest protection in Ghana: with particular reference to vegetation and plant species by W Hawthorne, M Abu-Juam – 1995 – books.google.com

Assessing landscapes: a case study of tree and shrub diversity in the seasonally dry tropical forests of Oaxaca, Mexico and southern Honduras by JE Gordon, WD Hawthorne, A Reyes-Garcıa… – Biological …, 2004 – Elsevier

Scale‐dependent effects of habitat fragmentation on hawthorn pollination, frugivory, and seed predation by D Garcia, NP Chacoff – Conservation Biology, 2007 – Wiley Online Library

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