Audubon® Washington Hawthorn
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In the winter garden, nothing shines brighter than Washington Hawthorn. This sweet little native ornamental tree drapes itself in copious clusters of shiny red fruits all winter long, or nearly so. Birds hold off on eating them until the tastier, fattier fruits are exhausted. Then, they’ll come flocking to your yard—cedar waxwings, purple finches, robins, cardinals, and mockingbirds are its biggest fans—to strip your tree bare. Better plant a few! Hawthorn foliage also supports a variety of caterpillars and other delicious (to birds) bugs, so summer birds will not feel left out.
May Benefit & Attract: Waxwings, finches, thrushes, cardinals, and mockingbirds.
Take Birds Under Your Wing
New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
- Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
- Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)
Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
- Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
- Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
Size AA (2-3' tall) container grown
- Hardiness Zone: 3-8
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Recommended by Our Growers
In the wild, Washington Hawthorn grows in scattered places throughout much of the eastern U.S., from Pennsylvania to Florida and west to Illinois and Missouri. It’s a relatively small tree that develops an oval or rounded shape in time. Washington Hawthorn’s dense, thorny canopy appeals to tree-nesting birds like Robins, Cardinals, Mockingbirds, Mourning Doves, Cuckoos, and Flycatchers. The loggerhead shrike is another bird that visits Hawthorn… for a macabre reason. This perky little predator likes to impale its victims (grasshoppers, frogs, etc.) on the Hawthorn’s long thorns for eating later!
In late spring, Washington Hawthorn’s snowy white flowers paint a pretty picture. In fall, the leaves may turn a nice scarlet-red before falling. This species is more resistant to leaf diseases that can plague other Hawthorns.
How to Grow
Washington Hawthorn doesn’t need to be pampered and will make do with any planting site as long as it’s in full sun and has well-drained soil. This country hedgerow tree even does well in the heart of the city. Do protect the trunk from damage, as the pretty, silvery bark is thin, and string trimmers can wreak havoc. Washington Hawthorn rarely needs pruning, which is a good thing—there’s a reason it’s called a Haw-THORN! If you do need to prune, do so shortly after the tree blooms and proceed carefully.
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