What are the Thorny Trees You can Find in Michigan?

What are the Thorny Trees You can Find in Michigan?

More than half of Michigan is covered with forests, which one of the main reasons why most of its industries are based on woodworking and wildlife. Those industries are heavily reliant on Michigan’s vegetation of the forests. It is also important to remember that recreational activities in forests like camping and hunting have a significant impact on Michigan’s economy.

You can find hundreds of tree species that populate Michigan, and some of them are thorny trees. Here are some of them to help you with plants with thorns identification.

Cockspur Hawthorn

cockspur hawthorn tree in Michigan

You can usually spot this tree by simply seeing an ornamental tree that is small and has a flat-surfaced top. As the name implies, the thorns of this tree have the same appearance as a rooster’s spur and about 2 inches long. In addition, you can also identify a Cockspur Hawthorn tree with
It’s white-colored flowers along with a fruit that is red in color.

Another fascinating feature of this tree is its color-changing leaves during different seasons. During the fall season, the leaves of Cockspur Hawthorn cycle from the colors red, orange, orange, purple, and then yellow.

Come summertime, the leaves grow about 3 inches in length
while being green in color. A grown Cockspur Hawthorn has an average height of about 180 inches (15 feet). As the tree grows older, the thorns of a Cockspur Hawthorn become denser in terms of its mass.

Douglas Hawthorn

Douglas Hawthorn trees in Michigan

Despite being one of the native tree species in Michigan, the Douglas Hawthorn is currently facing the possibility of extinction, which is why the United States Forest Service is exerting extra efforts to further strengthen and keep the presence of this thorny tree in Michigan. You can identify a Douglas Hawthorn tree by seeing lichens and even mosses in the bark of this tree.

This tree grows from about 3 up to 13 feet in height, whether as a small tree or a big shrub. Some notable features of Douglas Hawthorn are thorns that are about an inch long, long leaves with toothed edges, and grows a fruit that is black and smooth.

Black Locust

black locust trees in Michigan

Our last thorny tree on the list is classified under invasive species in Michigan. However, it is a major honey tree in the said state. The Black Locust tree, also known as the Honey Locust tree in Michigan, is another tree species that you can easily find even outside Michigan. This is a well-
known tree because it is a major honey plant. Moreover, this thorny tree has a light and thin branches that go along with a strong floral fragrance.

The honey locust tree thorns can be easily seen on the twigs and are about half an inch in size. This tree is also fast-growing and can reach up to a hundred feet in terms of height. It also grows beautiful flowers with white petals, and they usually bloom around May to June.

Just like most invasive trees, the honey locust tree in Michigan can grow even in poor soils, roadsides, forest openings, and open fields. Though it is an appealing tree, it can still impose harm to the native trees and can be toxic to horses.


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