Russian Hawthorn (or Crataegus ambigua)

This is the perfect time of year to select and plant trees. Armed with my camera or smartphone, and a notepad, I go around town, snapping up photos of the best and the brightest: trees with good autumn color. A couple years ago, I had the good fortune to see this incredible display at Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City. That’s a Russian Hawthorn, just dripping with ruby colored “haws” or berries. The underplanting is agastache, and sadly, I don’t know which one. I think it may be rupestris. If you can’t find a hawthorn to plant now, ask a reputable local nursery to order one or several for you with their spring orders. This is a nice size tree, 15-20 feet at maturity and very drought tolerant once it is well established. It has white blossoms for 10-14 days in the spring. I’ve not smelled the blossoms, but ask about them. Most hawthorns don’t smell very good. So, don’t plant it next to the house or a patio. Salt Lake 2006