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Tree Campus: Oregon Hawthorn

Tree Campus SCC is a multi-year and interdisciplinary college initiative to document, map, and celebrate the incredible diversity of trees planted on the campus. With over 200 species, Shoreline Community College is an arboreal paradise that deserves to b


Oregon Hawthorn

Crataegus douglasii (ROSACEAE)



PNW, S.E. Alaska to Northern California



"Forage production is usually low from black hawthorn thickets. Stands may be so dense as to preclude most livestock use. Livestock will, however, readily eat black hawthorn foliage when it is accessible . Douglas hawthorn thickets produce an abundant amount of food and cover for wildlife species. Dried fruits and stems provide autumn food for frugivorous birds such as blue and sharp-tailed grouse in Washington and Idaho. Mule deer and small mammals consume dry black hawthorn fruits in Utah during winter.

Black hawthorn has good structural diversity, and provides both thermal and hiding cover. Birds such as magpies and thrushes are especially attracted to black hawthorn for cover and nesting due to its thick, intricate branching. Avian use is heaviest during the nesting/brooding season, and at the time of fruit ripening. During the winter, black hawthorn continues to provide dense escape cover . Black-billed magpie nests are built mainly in black hawthorn crowns, and long-eared owls will build their nests atop magpie nests . Fourteen species of birds were found to use black hawthorn for nesting/brooding cover in northeastern Oregon. Small mammals also use black hawthorn stands for cover. Rickard found deer mice and long-tailed voles living in black hawthorn thickets. In a 1979 summer census, it was estimated that 280 to 320 individuals/acre (700-800/ha) were inhabiting a black hawthorn community. Mountain voles made up 80 percent of the population in all seasons." [1]


Equity: Cultural and Historical Significance

"Black hawthorn's brushy growth form makes it a desirable species for biological barriers between recreational areas and physical structures .

Native people of the Nuxalk Nation, Bella Coola, British Columbia, utilize black hawthorn fruits in the summer as food. It has been estimated that one person can harvest 250 ml of fruits in approximately 1.5 minutes. One black hawthorn tree averages 550 fruits." [1]



"Douglas hawthorn has no known wood products value...

Black hawthorn is an excellent soil and streambank stabilizer. Successful seedling establishment, however, is difficult, and growth rates are slow. The use of transplanted nursery stock is recommended" [1]




[1] Habeck, R. J. 1991. Crataegus douglasii. In: Fire Effects Information System,. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available:

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