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SPECIES: Crataegus douglasii
|Creative Commons image by Dave Powell, USDA Forest Service (retired), Bugwood.org.|
SPECIES: Crataegus douglasii
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION: Habeck, R. J. 1991. Crataegus douglasii. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: https://www.fs.usda.gov/database/feis/plants/shrub/cradou/all.html . Updates: On 24 January 2018, the common name of this species was changed in FEIS from: Douglas hawthorn to: black hawthorn. The map and other images were also added at that time.
ABBREVIATION: CRADOU SYNONYMS: Crataegus rivularis (Nutt.) Sarg. SCS PLANT CODE: CRDO2 COMMON NAMES: black hawthorn Douglas hawthorn river hawthorn western thornapple TAXONOMY: The currently accepted scientific name of black hawthorn is Crataegus douglasii (Lindl.) . There are two extant varieties, each distinguishable by floral parts and geographic location : C. douglasii var. douglasii, Douglas hawthorn (typical variety) C. douglasii var. rivularis, river hawthorn C. douglasii var. douglasii and C. douglasii var. rivularis have 10 stamens each and occupy mesic sites in the northern Rocky Mountains . LIFE FORM: Tree, Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS: No special status OTHER STATUS: NO-ENTRY
SPECIES: Crataegus douglasii
DISTRIBUTION AND OCCURRENCE
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION: The most widespread occurrence of black hawthorn is in the Pacific Northwest, from southeastern Alaska south through British Columbia, Alberta, Washington, and Oregon to northern California. Inland distribution encompasses northern Nevada, Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming, western Montana, and Idaho. Douglas hawthorn may also be found as a disjunct in northern Michigan, Minnesota, Saskatchewan, and southern Ontario [3,24,33,37].
|Distribution of black hawthorn. Map from USGS: 1976 USDA, Forest Service map provided by Thompson and others .|
ECOSYSTEMS: FRES20 Douglas-fir FRES21 Ponderosa pine FRES28 Western hardwoods FRES29 Sagebrush FRES34 Chaparral - mountain shrub FRES35 Pinyon - juniper FRES36 Mountain grasslands STATES: AL CA CO ID MN MT NV OR UT WA WY AB BC ON SK BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS: 1 Northern Pacific Border 2 Cascade Mountains 3 Southern Pacific Border 4 Sierra Mountains 5 Columbia Plateau 6 Upper Basin and Range 8 Northern Rocky Mountains 9 Middle Rocky Mountains KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS: K023 Juniper - pinyon woodland K037 Mountain-mahogany - oak scrub K038 Great Basin sagebrush K051 Wheatgrass - bluegrass K055 Sagebrush steppe SAF COVER TYPES: 220 Rocky Mountain juniper 238 Western juniper 239 Pinyon - juniper 241 Western juniper SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES: NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES: Douglas hawthorn generally occurs as an understory dominant in plant community types, or associations. It mostly occurs as an understory species within sites dominated by black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa), eastern cottonwood (P. deltoides), quaking aspen (P. tremuloides), or ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa). In western Montana, black hawthorn has been described as a nonextensive riparian dominance type . Pure stands of black hawthorn typically have an understory occupied by Wood's rose (Rosa woodsii), chokecherry (Prunus virginiana), or common snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus). In west-central Montana, black hawthorn exhibited at least 5 percent cover value within the tufted hairgrass (Deschampsia cespitosa) community type . Publications listing black hawthorn as an indicator or dominant species in habitat types (hts), community types (cts), or dominance types (dts) are presented below: Area Classification Authority MT Riparian dts Hansen and others 1988 WA Steppe hts Daubenmire 1970 ne OR Riparian cts Kauffman and others 1985
SPECIES: Crataegus douglasii
WOOD PRODUCTS VALUE: Douglas hawthorn has no known wood products value. IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE: 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 [11,17]. 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 [10,17,27]. Mule deer and small mammals consume dry black hawthorn fruits in Utah during winter . Marks and Marks  found that sharp-tailed grouse in western Idaho fed exclusively on black hawthorn fruits. No documentation, however, is available concerning bud consumption when ripened fruits become unavailable. PALATABILITY: Seasonally, black hawthorn was found to be moderately palatable to livestock. Evidence of hedging was apparent on many smaller individuals on a site in northeastern Oregon . Cattle prefer black hawthorn thickets less than 3 feet (1 m) tall; stem utilization can often exceed 50 percent . In Utah, black hawthorn is a poor browse species for sheep, cattle, and horses . NUTRITIONAL VALUE: In general, the energy and protein value of black hawthorn is fair. For ungulates and waterfowl in Utah, the food value is rated fair to poor; for small nongame birds and mammals, it is rated good . Nutritional information on black hawthorn fruit from the Rainbow Creek Research Natural Area, southeastern Washington, is presented below : Mean Standard Error ------ ----------------- % Protein 3.740 0.02 % Lipid 3.760 0.08 % Neutral Detergent Fiber 19.340 2.14 % Ash 3.990 0.02 % Calcium 0.310 NA % Magnesium 0.106 NA % Phosphorus 0.156 NA % Potassium 1.513 NA * Percentages based on dry pulp masses COVER VALUE: 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 . The degree to which black hawthorn provides environmental protection during one or more seasons for wildlife species is presented below : Utah Wyoming ------ ---------- Pronghorn poor poor Elk ---- fair Mule deer fair good White-tailed deer ---- good Small mammals good good Small nongame birds good good Upland game birds good good Waterfowl poor poor VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES: 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 . In north-central Washington, over 6,700 black hawthorn saplings were planted across 93 acres (37.5 ha) to provide forage and cover for wildlife adjacent to an altered reservoir site . In Utah, the erosion control potential of black hawthorn is considered medium, short-term revegetation potential is low, and long-term revegetation potential is medium . OTHER USES AND VALUES: 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 . OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS: Little is known about cultivating this genus. Most hawthorns develop a long taproot and should not be kept in seedbeds more than 1 year . Limited agriculture/livestock development will help maintain black hawthorn thickets, thus protecting an important food and cover species for wildlife .
SPECIES: Crataegus douglasii
BOTANICAL AND ECOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Black hawthorn is a large shrub or small tree ranging from 3.5 to 13.0 feet (1-4 m) tall and possessing straight, strong thorns 0.5 to 1.0 inch (1.00-2.50 cm) long. Leaves are generally 1.5 to 2.5 inches (3-6 cm) long, broad, and serrated at the tip. Blackish, smooth fruits are about 0.5 inch (1 cm) long. Numerous mosses and lichens are present upon the entire bark system [4,19] Black hawthorn stems are usually clustered from the base or from a point just above the soil surface. Shade-killed lower limbs persist on the stem, creating large, dense thickets . Stems are very flexible and have been shown to withstand avalanche impact pressures of up to 10 tons per square meter . RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM: Phanerophyte Cryptophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES: Black hawthorn produces many fertile seeds. Following the removal of aboveground stems, black hawthorn will sprout and sucker from the root system . Seeds: The average amount of cleaned black hawthorn seeds collected from Washington, Idaho, and Oregon was 22,600 per pound (10,170/kg). Cultivation of black hawthorn seed requires pregermination treatments to break embryo dormancy. Scarification in acid for 0.5 to 3.0 hours, followed by 84 to 112 days of cold treatment at 41 degrees Fahrenheit (5 deg C) will generally yield 50 to 80 percent germination . Morphological characteristics of black hawthorn fruit from Rainbow Creek Research Natural Area, southeastern Washington, are presented below : Mean Standard Error ------ ---------------- Fruit Diameter (mm) 11.11 0.08 Fruit Mass (mg) 634.38 12.72 Pulp Dry Mass (mg) 109.43 NA Number of seeds per Fruit 4.78 NA Fresh Seed Mass per Fruit (mg) 83.74 NA Fresh Pulp Mass (mg) 6.58 NA (n=100) SITE CHARACTERISTICS: Black hawthorn can be found at lower elevations from 2,200 to 5,400 feet (670-1,645 m). It typically forms small, dense, impenetrable thickets in irregular patterns across open areas or along moist riparian sites [3,17]. Black hawthorn is also found on steep, uncultivated slopes . In west-central Montana, it is common on mesic valley and montane sites . It can be found on all exposures, including dry southern exposures, where moisture levels are sufficient . Soils: Black hawthorn generally occurs on deep, moist, fine-textured soils. Soils under black hawthorn stands were found to be cooler and wetter than adjacent steppe communities in eastern Washington . These stands typically provide 100 percent soil cover, thus increasing soil moisture by decreasing surface soil temperatures . Kauffman and others  found soils beneath black hawthorn in northeastern Oregon to have a thick A-horizon, 13 to 17 inches (33-43 cm), with evidence of mottling. Depth to the parent material varied from 27 to 40 inches (69-100 cm), but was usually less than 30 inches (75 cm). SUCCESSIONAL STATUS: Black hawthorn predominantly occurs as an understory species (see Habitat Types); however, it can be found in pure stands. Typically, black hawthorn does not occupy disturbed sites . Disturbance from fire, agricultural cropping, or flooding seems to inhibit proliferous growth . Butler , however, found black hawthorn present on frequently disturbed areas such as avalanche shoots in Glacier National Park, Montana. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT: Specific information concerning the seasonal development of black hawthorn is not available. Black hawthorn fruits are considered ripe when they are black and lustrous. In Oregon fruit was dispersed from August 16 to 31, and in Washington from July 15 to 30 .
SPECIES: Crataegus douglasii
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS: Black hawthorn is fire tolerant . This tree has a shallow and diffuse root structure that allows for sprouting and sucker-rooting following the destruction of aboveground parts . FIRE REGIMES: Find fire regime information for the plant communities in which this species may occur by entering the species name in the FEIS home page under "Find Fire Regimes". POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY: survivor species; on-site surviving root crown or caudex survivor species; on-site surviving deep underground stems off-site colonizer; seed carried by animals or water; postfire yr 1&2
SPECIES: Crataegus douglasii
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT: Both high- and low-severity fires will consume the aboveground parts of black hawthorn. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT: The structural configuration of black hawthorn limbs makes it highly flammable due to the sheltering of dry grasses and twigs. These fuels may create a "ladder" for fire to be carried up to the crown, destroying the entire thicket. PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE: The range of black hawthorn is limited by fire. Removal of the plant may require years of growth for full reestablishment. Frequent fires may confine black hawthorn plants to dense thickets . DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE: Daubenmire  hypothesized that the expanded range of black hawthorn stands in eastern Washington was the result of improved agricultural cropping practices which exclude stubble burning. Black hawthorn thickets have redeveloped from stump sprouts as the number and size of fires have decreased [11,26]. The following Research Project Summaries provide information on prescribed fire use and postfire response of plant community species black hawthorn:
FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS: NO-ENTRY
SPECIES: Crataegus douglasii
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Brunsfeld, Steven J.; Johnson, Frederic D. 1990. Cytological, morphological, ecological and phenological support for specific status of Crataegus suksdorfii (Rosaceae). Madrono. 37(4): 274-282.  7. Butler, David R. 1979. Snow avalanche path terrain and vegetation, Glacier National Park, Montana. Arctic and Alpine Research. 11(1): 17-32.  8. Butler, David R. 1979. Vegetational and geomorphic change on snow avalanche paths, Glacier National Park, Montana. Great Basin Naturalist. 45: 313-317.  9. Carson, Robert G.; Edgerton, Paul J. 1989. Creating riparian wildlife habitat along a Columbia River impoundment in northcentral Washington. In: Wallace, Arthur; McArthur, E. Durant; Haferkamp, Marshall R., compilers. Proceedings--symposium on shrub ecophysiology and biotechnology; 1987 June 30 - July 2; Logan, UT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-256. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 64-69.  10. Crawford, John A.; Van Dyke, Walt; Meyers, S. 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Lepofsky, Dana; Turner, Nancy J.; Kuhnlein, Harriet V. 1985. Determining the availability of traditional wild plant foods: an example of Nuxalk foods, Bella Coola, British Columbia. Ecology of Food and Nutrition. 16: 223-241.  24. Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1976. Atlas of United States trees. Volume 3. Minor western hardwoods. Misc. Publ. 1314. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 13 p. 290 maps.  25. Lyon, L. Jack; Stickney, Peter F. 1976. Early vegetal succession following large northern Rocky Mountain wildfires. In: Proceedings, Tall Timbers fire ecology conference and Intermountain Fire Research Council fire and land management symposium; 1974 October 8-10; Missoula, MT. No. 14. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 355-373.  26. Mack, Richard N. 1988. First comprehensive botanical survey of the Columbia Plateau, Washington: the Sandberg and Leiberg expedition of 1893. Northwest Science. 62: 118-128.  27. Marks, Jeffrey S.; Marks, Victoria Saab. 1988. Winter habitat use by Columbian sharp-tailed grouse in western Idaho. Journal of Wildlife Management. 52(4): 743-746.  28. Pierce, John; Johnson, Janet. 1986. Wetland community type classification for west-central Montana. Missoula, MT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Region, Ecosystem Management Program. 158 p. [Review draft].  29. Piper, Jon K. 1986. Seasonality of fruit characters and seed removal by birds. Oikos. 46: 303-310.  30. Preston, Richard J., Jr. 1948. North American trees. Ames, IA: The Iowa State College Press. 371 p.  31. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p.  32. Rickard, W. H. 1960. The distribution of small mammals in relation to the climax vegetation mosaic in eastern Washington and northern Idaho. Ecology. 41(1): 99-106.  33. Soper, James H.; Heimburger, Margaret L. 1982. Shrubs of Ontario. Life Sciences Misc. Publ. Toronto, ON: Royal Ontario Museum. 495 p.  34. Stephens, H. A. 1973. Woody plants of the North Central Plains. Lawrence, KS: The University Press of Kansas. 530 p.  35. Stiles, Edmund W. 1980. Patterns of fruit presentation and seed dispersal in bird-disseminated woody plants in the Eastern deciduous forest. American Naturalist. 116(5): 670-688.  36. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1982. National list of scientific plant names. Vol. 1. List of plant names. SCS-TP-159. Washington, DC. 416 p.  37. Viereck, Leslie A.; Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1972. Alaska trees and shrubs. Agric. Handb. 410. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 265 p.  38. Thompson, Robert S.; Anderson, Katherine H.; Bartlein, Patrick J. 1999. Digital representations of tree species range maps from "Atlas of United States trees" by Elbert L. Little, Jr. (and other publications), [Online]. 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