Washington Hawthorn Tree

By: C. Colston Burrell
A tree with red berries.
Washington Hawthorn is a small tree with bright white flower and red berries. Javier Fernández Sánchez / Getty Images

The Washington hawthorn is quite possibly the best of all the ornamental hawthorns -- and that's saying a great deal, since they are a particularly showy and useful group of trees. It is especially interesting because of its resistance to fireblight, a disease that severely limits the use of many hawthorns.

Description of Washington hawthorn tree: A tall shrub or small tree, it grows to about 25 feet. Growth is rather columnar at first, eventually becoming rounded. The clustered spring flowers are white and numerous. The Washington hawthorn forms a thorny, horizontally branched crown clothed in a dense mass of dark green, lustrous foliage. The leaves turn orange-red in the fall, then drop to reveal an abundant crop of bright red berries.


Growing Washington hawthorn tree: Full sun and most soil conditions suit it well, although it does poorly in dry soils.

Uses for Washington hawthorn tree: An excellent city tree, it is important to prune away thorny lower branches so they will be out of the way of human contact The tree's thorny nature makes it a good hedge for security purposes. The fruits not only attract birds but are delicious to eat.

Related species of Washington hawthorn tree: There are many other hawthorns of interest with white to pink, single or double flowers and edible, attractive fruit. Crataegus crus-galli Inermis, Thornless Cockspur Hawthorn, is an exceptional species with glossy, spathulate leaves, a wide oval crown, and no spurs. White Flowers are followed by large red fruits.

Scientific name of Washington hawthorn tree: Crataegus Phaenopyrum


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