Scarlet Hawthorn

      FAMILY: Rose
      HEIGHT: 15 TO 20 ft.

      Scarlet Hawthorn is one of the more common eastern Hawthorns. It is an attractive tree which is also cultivated as an ornamental. This Haw is a small tree with many straight thorns, an inch or so long. The leaf is toothed, will small, rounded lobes. Flowers appear in May and develop into hanging fruit, first green and downy, becoming red in fall. The bark is thin, gray, and scaly.

      Scarlet Haw is a tree of dry soils, found in fencerows, old fields, and open woods. It and other Hawthorns provide some food and a lot of thorny, protective shelter for songbirds and other wildlife.

      Lou Tosi of Monongahela, Pa, recalls, as a kid, making homemade poppers out of elder bush stems and using the Haw berries as shot pellets during the mid-thirties depression.