Are Hawthorn Tree Berries Poisonous To Dogs – Harvesting hawthorn berries is new for me this year. If you get them at the right time, they’re sweet and mild, and in years past I’ve tasted them way too early in the fall. This year, the Washington hawthorn was sweet and mild in late October. But by then, one seed of hawthorn had started to rot, so next year I’ll look for them in mid-October.
I am indebted to Josh Fecteau’s recent post on hawthorn for inspiring me to try hawthorn berries again. As Josh pointed out, there are many species of hawthorn, maybe 50 in New England. According to George Symonds, there may be a thousand species in North America (from his excellent book Tree Identification: A New Method for Practical Tree Identification and Recognition
Are Hawthorn Tree Berries Poisonous To Dogs
, my favorite guide to learning tree ID). Fortunately, there is no need to identify specific species. All you need to know is that it’s a hawthorn, because all hawthorns have edible berries. HOWEVER, like apple seeds, hawthorn seeds contain cyanide and should not be eaten. Don’t panic; just spit out the seeds.
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Why bother with hawthorn? They are beautiful, interesting and delicious wild edibles with health benefits. Some people use the berries to make hawthorn jelly, but I haven’t seen it yet. The berries, leaves and flowers can be used to make tea. Scroll to the bottom of the page to see how I make hawthorn berry extract.
I will describe two types here to show the general characteristics. It helps to recognize hawthorn when you see it, but I
If you’re not sure you have hawthorn when foraging, check with additional sources before eating the berries until you’re sure.
It grows as a small tree or large shrub and produces clusters of white flowers in late spring | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | Berries turn red in September (here) but sweeten later. On October 31st, they were sweet, maybe a little past their peak. Each berry contains 3-5 seeds.
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The leaves are lobed and toothed, as you can see in my photo above. Many other hawthorn species have similar leaves. The tree is armed with long spines up to about 3 inches long. However, with reasonable care, you can easily pick the berries hanging from the branches. This is easier in the season after most of the leaves have fallen and no longer hide the thorns.
Also called common hawthorn, it is a European native that escaped cultivation and naturalized in North America. It’s sometimes called an invasive plant, but I don’t find it often, and when I do, it’s not that many in one area. Maybe it’s invasive in other parts of the country, but it doesn’t seem to be aggressive here. Like Washington hawthorn, monoecious hawthorn grows as a shrub or small tree and produces clusters of white flowers in late spring. The oval red berries ripen slightly earlier in the fall (than Washington hawthorn) and consist of one seed (hence the name). The toothed leaves are deeper than Washington hawthorn, but the spines are much smaller, about 1/2 inch to one inch long.
Hawthorns are common in the woodlands of Massachusetts, but they are thin specimens that do not produce good fruit. Too shady in the woods. To find fruit-laden hawthorns, look in sunny areas such as shrublands and thickets, along pasture edges and along streams. They are often planted as ornamentals, so if your friend has one and you don’t mind picking some berries, you have an easy foraging experience.
This is my first experience using hawthorn berries and I use them to make extract using the same process I use to make vanilla extract. I hope to use hawthorn extract as a spice in my cooking and baking. I filled a clean canning jar about 3/4 full with berries, covered them with 80 proof vodka and sealed the jar. I’m not sure how long it will take to get enough flavor out of the berries, so I’ll be checking it daily. I know other extracts (like vanilla extract) take weeks, so I’m waiting for that. From our farms in Michigan to your property, Washington hawthorn trees add abundant foliage with green-yellow leaves and distinctive bright berries. Cold Stream Farm is a proud retail and wholesale supplier of Washington Hawthorn (Crataegus phaenopyrum), available for purchase as transplants or bare-root seedlings.
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Washington hawthorns are spectacular landscape features that provide support for native and migratory animals. Blooming in spring and fruiting in fall, the Washington hawthorn is colorful and functional all season long.
Washington hawthorn trees are known for their green berries that ripen to bright red in September and October each year. These berries are persistent, cling tightly to trees during the winter, and are eventually eaten by grazing birds.
Washington hawthorn flowers are white and bloom in dense clusters each spring. The flowers emit a distinct scent when in bloom, but usually last for a week or more.
On average, Washington hawthorn trees grown under favorable conditions mature to 20 to 30 feet tall and 25 feet wide. Washington hawthorn leaves start out green in summer and turn various shades of yellow, orange and red in fall.
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These trees are not native to northwestern Washington state. Instead, Washington hawthorn trees grow primarily east of the Mississippi River, in Alabama, Missouri, Arkansas, and Virginia.
In nature, Washington hawthorn grows in open areas, as well as in open areas of swamps and mountains. Washington Hawthorn, when grown intentionally, needs full sun to live a full, healthy life. In ideal conditions, Washington hawthorn prefers moist, well-drained soil.
Berries grown on Washington hawthorn trees are primarily eaten by waxwings, sparrows, sparrows, and other songbirds. In addition, the berries can be eaten by squirrels and other small mammals. During their limited season, Washington hawthorn flowers attract hummingbirds, butterflies and moths in search of nectar and pollen.
A very useful tree. Its wood is used for tools, crafts, and more. difficult enough to use in small products. Dense logs cut from Washington hawthorn branches make excellent, slow-burning firewood with very little smoke.
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Washington hawthorn berries are edible and can be safely consumed by humans both raw and cooked. The mild-tasting berries can be made into teas, jellies and other treats, but it’s important to note that they can be poisonous to dogs.
Finally, Washington hawthorn trees are often used to create land borders with thick thorny trunks that deter deer and other unwanted guests. Often plants are deliberately spaced and pruned to define a dense, uniform hedge.
Unfortunately, Washington hawthorn has a somewhat limited range and is best suited to USDA zones 4-8. Although cultivation is possible
Washington hawthorns are susceptible to insects and pests such as aphids, mites, and leaf miners. Most troublesome pests can be washed away with a garden hose, fertilizer or horticultural oil.
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If you plan to purchase Washington hawthorn trees, make sure your planting area receives full sun throughout the day. Despite their hardiness, Washington Hawthorn cannot tolerate too much shade.
Like most hawthorn species, mature Washington hawthorn trees are drought tolerant and can survive in a variety of environments. Washington hawthorns are very tolerant of urban pollution and require very little maintenance other than seasonal hedging.
Fertilization is usually necessary to reach Washington Hawthorn’s maximum potential, but owners should be careful not to overdo it. It is recommended to fertilize adult plants once every two years.
Washington hawthorn begins to bloom after 3 years from one seedling. From there, the tree will start producing edible fruit after another 2-3 years.
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Washington hawthorn grows very quickly in its first few years, but slows down as it matures. A well-kept hawthorn tree can live for hundreds of years.
January 22, 2020, 19:28 – author K. Hook – Bauwow World, Formazione e Insegnamento, Salute e Nutrizione, Stile di vita e Interessi generali.
It’s no wonder your pet sniffs around fences, picks berries, and does a bit of foraging, and there’s no shortage of healthy treats for them to enjoy while you’re out on the wild side.
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Hawthorn berries can be eaten by dogs. If they eat too