Are Washington Hawthorn Berries Edible For Dogs – Harvesting hawthorn berries is new to me this year. They’re sweet and mild if you get them at the right time, and in recent years I’ve tasted them too early in the fall. This year, Washington hawthorn was sweet and mild in late October. But by then the single-seed hawthorn had started to rot, so next year I’ll look for it in mid-October.
I owe some credit to Josh Fecteau’s recent hawthorn post, which inspired me to try hawthorn berries again. As Josh points out, there are many varieties of hawthorn, perhaps as many as 50 in New England. And possibly a thousand species across North America, according to George Symonds (from his wonderful Tree Identification Book: A New Method for the Practical Identification and Recognition of Trees).
Are Washington Hawthorn Berries Edible For Dogs
, my favorite guide to learning tree ID). Fortunately, you don’t need to be able to identify certain species. You just have to know that it is a hawthorn, because all hawthorns have edible berries. HOWEVER, like apple seeds, hawthorn seeds contain cyanide and should not be eaten. Do not panic; just spit out the seeds.
Washington Hawthorn Crataegus
Why bother with hawthorns? They are beautiful, interesting and tasty wild edibles with known health benefits. Some people use the berries to make hawthorn jelly, but I have yet to try this. Berries, leaves and flowers can be used to make tea. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see how I make hawthorn berry extract.
I am going to describe two types here, to illustrate the general characteristics. That should help you spot a hawthorn when you see one, but i
If you are not sure if you have a hawthorn while foraging, consult additional resources until you are sure before eating the berries.
This grows as a small tree or large shrub and bears clusters of white flowers in late spring. The berries turn red in September (here), but sweeten later. By October 31, they were sweet and maybe slightly past the peak. Each berry has 3-5 seeds.
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The leaves are lobed and toothed, as you can see in my photo above. Many other hawthorn varieties have similar leaves. The tree is heavily armed with long thorns, up to about 3 inches tall. However, with reasonable care, you can easily harvest the berries, which tend to hang from the branches. It’s even easier later in the season after many of the leaves have fallen and the thorns are no longer obscuring.
Also called common hawthorn, this is a European native that escaped cultivation and naturalized in North America. It is sometimes labeled an invasive plant, but I don’t find it often, and when I see it, there isn’t much of it in one area. It may be invasive in other parts of the country, but it doesn’t seem to be particularly aggressive here. Like the Washington hawthorn, a single-seeded hawthorn grows as a shrub or small tree, bearing clusters of white flowers in late spring. The oval red berries ripen slightly earlier (than the Washington hawthorn) in the fall and contain a single seed (hence the name). The toothed leaves are more deeply lobed than those of the Washington hawthorn, but the thorns are much smaller, only about 1/2 inch to an inch long.
Hawthorns are common in the forest understory here in Massachusetts, but those are skinny ones that don’t bear fruit well. It’s too shady in the woods. To find fruit-laden hawthorns, look in sunny spots, such as shrubby fields and scrub, on pasture edges and along streams. They are often planted as an ornamental, so if your friend has one and doesn’t mind picking some berries, you have an easy foraging experience right at your fingertips.
This is my first experience using hawthorn berries, and I use them to make an extract, using the same process you would use to make vanilla extract. I hope to use hawthorn extract as a flavoring in cooking and baking. I filled a clean canning jar about 3/4 full with berries, covered it with 80 proof vodka, and sealed the jar. I’m not sure how long it takes to get enough flavor out of the berries, so I’ll check daily. I know that other extracts (like vanilla extract) take weeks, so that’s what I expect here.) are from the southeastern part of this country. They are grown for their showy flowers, brightly colored fruits and beautiful fall colors. A relatively small tree, the Washington hawthorn, makes a lovely addition to a backyard or garden. Keep reading for tips on growing hawthorn trees in Washington.
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If you’re considering growing a Washington hawthorn, you’ll find much to love in this native deciduous tree. It offers fragrant spring flowers that attract butterflies and bright fruit called hawthorn, which wild birds love. These hawthorns are also beautiful in the fall. The green foliage glows in shades of orange, scarlet, crimson and purple.
Hawthorn trees in Washington do not grow taller than 9 meters. Cultured specimens can be significantly shorter. Those thinking of growing hawthorn in Washington, however, will want to know that the branches have large spines. That makes them good candidates for a defensive hedge, but probably not a good idea if you have pets or small children running around.
Before planting a Washington hawthorn, make sure you are in a suitable hardiness zone. Washington hawthorn trees thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 8.
Instructions for growing a Washington hawthorn are not complicated. Plant the tree in moist, well-drained soil in a position in full sun. If you find the optimal location, Washington hawthorn care and maintenance will be minimal.
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These trees need regular irrigation after planting. When the root system is established, their demand for water decreased. Still, moderate irrigation remains part of routine care.
Like other hawthorn trees, Washington hawthorns are susceptible to attack by many types of insects and a variety of diseases. Preventing or tackling this is crucial. Pests that affect these trees include aphids and pear slugs (sawfly larvae), but these can be eliminated by spraying water from a garden hose.
Borers only attack weak trees, so avoid this pest by keeping your hawthorn strong and healthy. The trees can also be attacked by leafminers, lace bugs and tent caterpillars. Spider mites can also be a problem, but all of these pests can be treated if caught early.
As for disease, Washington hawthorn trees are susceptible to fire blight. Look for brown branch tips that appear scorched. Prune diseased branch tips a foot or two outside the affected wood. Phytophthora and hawthorn rust from cedars can also cause problems. From our Michigan ranches to your property, Washington Hawthorn trees add abundant foliage with green-yellow leaves and showy bright bed berries. Cold Stream Farm is a proud supplier of retail and wholesale Washington Hawthorn (Crataegus phaenopyrum), available for purchase as transplant or bare root seedlings.
Seattle In Winter
Washington Hawthorn trees are great landscape features that provide ample cover and food for local and migratory wildlife. Washington Hawthorn trees bloom in the spring and bear fruit in the fall and are colorful and functional in all seasons.
Washington Hawthorn trees are primarily recognized by their green berries that ripen to a bright red color in September and October each year. These berries are persistent and cling tightly to the trees throughout the winter season before finally being eaten by grazing birds.
The flowers of a Washington Hawthorn tree are white and bloom in dense clusters each spring. When in bloom, the flowers give off a distinct scent, but usually only linger for a week or so.
On average, Washington Hawthorn trees grown in ideal conditions will mature to 20 to 30 feet tall and 25 feet wide. The leaves of a Washington Hawthorn start out green in the summer and change to various shades of yellow, orange and red in the fall.
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However, these trees are not native to northwestern Washington state. Instead, Washington Hawthorn trees are native, primarily east of the Mississippi River, in states like Alabama, Missouri, Arkansas, and Virginia.
In the wild, Washington Hawthorn trees grow in open ground, as well as exposed areas of swamps and mountains. When intentionally bred, full sun is almost always necessary for a Washington Hawthorn to live a full, healthy life. In ideal conditions, Washington Hawthorn trees prefer moist, well-draining soil.
The berries that grow on Washington’s Hawthorn trees are primarily eaten by waxwings, grouse, sparrows, and other passerine birds. In addition, the berries can be eaten by squirrels and other small mammals. During the limited season, Washington Hawthorn flowers attract hummingbirds, butterflies and moths in search of nectar and pollen.
Is a very useful tree. The wood is hard enough to be used in small scale products for tools, crafts and more. The dense trunks chopped from the branches of the Washington Hawthorn also make for great slow-burning firewood with very little smoke.
Hawthorn Berry Close Up Hi Res Stock Photography And Images
Washington Hawthorn berries are edible and can be safely consumed by humans both raw and cooked. The mild-tasting berries can be prepared in teas, jellies and