Content Detail

Washington hawthorn is one of the commonly planted hawthorn species. It has the typical white flowers, followed by red fruit that persist into winter. This species is fairly thorny and is prone to the cedar-rust diseases.

  • Family (English) Rose
  • Family (botanic) Rosaceae
  • Planting site City parkway, Residential and parks, Wide median
  • Tree or plant type Tree
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Illinois, North America
  • Size range Medium tree (25-40 feet)
  • Mature height 25-30 feet
  • Mature width 20-25 feet
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, Clay soil, Dry sites, Wet sites
  • Season of interest early fall, late summer, mid fall, mid spring
  • Flower color and fragrance White
  • Shape or form Oval, Round
  • Growth rate Moderate
  • Transplants well Yes
  • Planting considerations Dangerous thorns
  • Wildlife Game birds, Migrant birds, Songbirds
  • Has cultivars Yes

Native geographic location and habitat: 

Washington hawthorn is native to Illinois and North America. 

Bark color and texture: 

The bark is rough and becomes slightly shaggy with age. This plant has thorns on the stems.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture: 

The simple, alternate leaves are 1 to 3 inches long with 3 to 5 lobes. They are triangular with toothed margins. The leaves are dark green in summer, changing to red or purple in fall.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size: 

The small white flowers are held in broad, flat clusters appearing in late spring. The flowers are unpleasantly scented. 

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions: 

This tree yields persistent red fruits (pomes).

Plant care: 

For the best winter effect, site this tree in front of evergreens. The tree is thorny, so choose its placement carefully.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances: 

Cedar rust diseases, fire blight, leaf spots, scale and mites are all potential problems on this tree. It is tolerant of black walnut toxicity.


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