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Mequon Campus Trees: Washington Hawthorn


 Crataegus phaenopyrum

 Washington Hawthorn

described by Stephanie Bucio


Winter form

Winter interest



Wicked thorns


Emerging foliage

Cluster in winter

Spring life



Description:  25’ x 20’ small, can be multistemmed tree. Small clusters of small orange-red fruits that are persistent, but turn black by March. Small lobed leaves that turn orange and red in fall. This species is pretty resistant to rusts. It has sharp, Wicked thorns so do not plant in high traffic areas, but make sure of full sun! This tree flowers after leaf out, with malodorous, but showy blooms around mid-May. Pretty adaptable as far as cultural conditions. Do not plant near Native Juniperus as rust may result.


Winter Characteristics:  Form, thorns, and persistent fruit are this trees’ winter interests! Upright, pyramidal form with colorful clusters of persistent fruit. Scaley bark, not very attractive, but not too ugly. Twigs are grey with heavy thorns.


Spring Characteristics:In Spring, you really have to focus on the form and thorns to appreciate this tree. However, when the green leaves begin peaking through the bud in April, it gives this tree life in a subtle way, as it can look somewhat mid-evil without any color.





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Washington Hawthorn