Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Crataegus douglasii


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: [].
ABBREVIATION : CRADOU SYNONYMS : Crataegus rivularis (Nutt.) Sarg. SCS PLANT CODE : CRDO2 COMMON NAMES : Douglas hawthorn black hawthorn river hawthorn western thornapple TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name of Douglas hawthorn is Crataegus douglasii (Lindl.) [18]. There are two extant varieties, each distinguishable by floral parts and geographic location [19]: 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 [6]. LIFE FORM : Tree, Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Crataegus douglasii
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : The most widespread occurrence of Douglas 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]. Contradictory information concerning the distribution of Douglas hawthorn is plentiful.  Many sources [4,19,30] include populations distributed into the Dakotas, and isolated disjuncts in New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas.  Stiles [35] claims to have sampled fruits and seeds of Douglas hawthorn from the eastern deciduous forests (40 degrees N). Others [5,6,14,34] have shown no distribution east of Montana (excluding the Great Lakes disjunct) or south of Utah.  The basis of these contradictions may be the inclusion of Douglas hawthorn varieties in some botanical range maps.  The information presented above is assumed to be the true distribution of C. douglasii var. douglasii. 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, Douglas hawthorn has been described as a nonextensive riparian dominance type [17].  Pure stands of Douglas hawthorn typically have an understory occupied by Wood's rose (Rosa woodsii), chokecherry (Prunus virginiana), or common snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus).  In west-central Montana, Douglas hawthorn exhibited at least 5 percent cover value within the tufted hairgrass (Deschampsia cespitosa) community type [28]. Publications listing Douglas 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 Douglas hawthorn thickets.  Stands may be so dense as to preclude most livestock use.  Livestock will, however, readily eat Douglas hawthorn foliage when it is accessible [11,17].  Douglas hawthorn thickets produce an abundant amount of food and cover for wildlife species [27].  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 Douglas hawthorn fruits in Utah during winter [1].  Marks and Marks [27] found that sharp-tailed grouse in western Idaho fed exclusively on Douglas hawthorn fruits.  No documentation, however, is available concerning bud consumption when ripened fruits become unavailable. PALATABILITY : Seasonally, Douglas hawthorn was found to be moderately palatable to livestock.  Evidence of hedging was apparent on many smaller individuals on a site in northeastern Oregon [20].  Cattle prefer Douglas hawthorn thickets less than 3 feet (1 m) tall; stem utilization can often exceed 50 percent [28].  In Utah, Douglas hawthorn is a poor browse species for sheep, cattle, and horses [12]. NUTRITIONAL VALUE : In general, the energy and protein value of Douglas 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 [12]. Nutritional information on Douglas hawthorn fruit from the Rainbow Creek Research Natural Area, southeastern Washington, is presented below [29]:                 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 : Douglas hawthorn has good structural diversity, and provides both thermal and hiding cover.  Birds such as magpies and thrushes are especially attracted to Douglas hawthorn for cover and nesting due to its thick, intricate branching [17].  Avian use is heaviest during the nesting/brooding season, and at the time of fruit ripening [11].  During the winter, Douglas hawthorn continues to provide dense escape cover [27].  Black-billed magpie nests are built mainly in Douglas hawthorn crowns, and long-eared owls will build their nests atop magpie nests [11].  Fourteen species of birds were found to use Douglas hawthorn for nesting/brooding cover in northeastern Oregon [27].  Small mammals also use Douglas hawthorn stands for cover.  Rickard [32] found deer mice and long-tailed voles living in Douglas hawthorn thickets. In a 1979 summer census, it was estimated that 280 to 320 individuals/acre (700-800/ha) were inhabiting a Douglas hawthorn community.  Mountain voles made up 80 percent of the population in all seasons [20]. The degree to which Douglas hawthorn provides environmental protection during one or more seasons for wildlife species is presented below [12]:                        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 : Douglas 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 [17].  In north-central Washington, over 6,700 Douglas hawthorn saplings were planted across 93 acres (37.5 ha) to provide forage and cover for wildlife adjacent to an altered reservoir site [9].  In Utah, the erosion control potential of Douglas hawthorn is considered medium, short-term revegetation potential is low, and long-term revegetation potential is medium [12]. OTHER USES AND VALUES : Douglas hawthorn's brushy growth form makes it a desirable species for biological barriers between recreational areas and physical structures [17]. Native people of the Nuxalk Nation, Bella Coola, British Columbia, utilize Douglas 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 Douglas hawthorn tree averages 550 fruits [23]. 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 [4]. Limited agriculture/livestock development will help maintain Douglas hawthorn thickets, thus protecting an important food and cover species for wildlife [27].


SPECIES: Crataegus douglasii
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Douglas 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] Douglas 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 [11].  Stems are very flexible and have been shown to withstand avalanche impact pressures of up to 10 tons per square meter [8]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM :    Phanerophyte    Cryptophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Douglas hawthorn produces many fertile seeds.  Following the removal of aboveground stems, Douglas hawthorn will sprout and sucker from the root system [17]. Seeds:  The average amount of cleaned Douglas hawthorn seeds collected from Washington, Idaho, and Oregon was 22,600 per pound (10,170/kg). Cultivation of Douglas 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 [4]. Morphological characteristics of Douglas hawthorn fruit from Rainbow Creek Research Natural Area, southeastern Washington, are presented below [29]:                                   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 : Douglas 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].  Douglas hawthorn is also found on steep, uncultivated slopes [11].  In west-central Montana, it is common on mesic valley and montane sites [22].  It can be found on all exposures, including dry southern exposures, where moisture levels are sufficient [11]. Soils:  Douglas hawthorn generally occurs on deep, moist, fine-textured soils.  Soils under Douglas hawthorn stands were found to be cooler and wetter than adjacent steppe communities in eastern Washington [11]. These stands typically provide 100 percent soil cover, thus increasing soil moisture by decreasing surface soil temperatures [10].  Kauffman and others [20] found soils beneath Douglas 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 : Douglas hawthorn predominantly occurs as an understory species (see Habitat Types); however, it can be found in pure stands.  Typically, Douglas hawthorn does not occupy disturbed sites [17].  Disturbance from fire, agricultural cropping, or flooding seems to inhibit proliferous growth [11].  Butler [7], however, found Douglas hawthorn present on frequently disturbed areas such as avalanche shoots in Glacier National Park, Montana. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Specific information concerning the seasonal development of Douglas hawthorn is not available.  Douglas 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 [35].


SPECIES: Crataegus douglasii
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Douglas hawthorn is fire tolerant [11].  This tree has a shallow and diffuse root structure that allows for sprouting and sucker-rooting following the destruction of aboveground parts [17]. 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 Douglas hawthorn. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : The structural configuration of Douglas 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 Douglas hawthorn is limited by fire.  Removal of the plant may require years of growth for full reestablishment.  Frequent fires may confine Douglas hawthorn plants to dense thickets [11]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : Daubenmire [11] hypothesized that the expanded range of Douglas hawthorn stands in eastern Washington was the result of improved agricultural cropping practices which exclude stubble burning.  Douglas 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 Douglas hawthorn:


SPECIES: Crataegus douglasii
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