trees with thorns

poutmouseMay 6, 2009

I hope someone can help me. Yesterday I was clearing vines and brush from the back of our yard and came upon all these torture like trees with thorns. Well of course I was stabbed by a number of these thorns and one was embedded in my ankle on the inside where that bone is. It was in there a few hours before I discovered what it was ( thought it was a blister). Pulled it out- bled- became very swollen and extremely painful. Can't walk- its that bad. I read your forum from 2005 about trees with thorns and everyone says its a Honey Locust, but the leaves are not like that and the thorns are everywhere on the bloody thing and they are not that tall. I'm worried this thing is some posioness tree. Any other suggestions? I'm in upstate NY zone 5 near a river. I hate them and want them all dead!

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Can you describe the leaves or take a picture of one?

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 12:00PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Here are some possibilities, but there are others. A picture might help if you don't figure it out with Google images.

Maclura pomifera (Osage Orange)
one of the Elaeagnus species (Silverberries, Oleasters, Autumn/Russian Olive)
one of the Crataegus species (Hawthorns)
Gleditsia triacanthos (Honey Locust)

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 12:03PM
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Its very early here and really not too many leaves are on it yet. My foot is so swollen I can't walk and am stranded here by myself until Fri. morning. I kept looking online and thought maybe it was Hawthorn but can't find many pictures, just drawings. Does anyone know if any of these things are poisoness?

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 1:42PM
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Dan Staley

Sounds like firethorn (Pyracantha spp.) to me. Smoothish bark, small leaves. Osage orange is painful too, crowded multitrunks, corky bark.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 2:44PM
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Seek medical advice, urgently.

Very few if any thorns are poisonous, but they frequently have bacteria on them, sometimes potentially very dangerous ones like tetanus. Your description sounds like you could have a deep infection from the thorn - while perhaps unlikely, this can, occasionally, be life-threatening.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 5:01PM
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Thanks for your input. I would seek medical attention only I live way out in the country and my husbands away until Fri. AM, and I have no car, so I've been putting antibiotic cream on it and has helped a little, I can step on my foot a little and can touch it- so I think its getting a little better. Last night I couldn't do either- keep your fingers crossed for me. Thanks

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 5:38PM
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Dan Staley

Firethorn. I had one in a past yard and every couple years would stick myself good. I'd be in pain for a day or two and squeeze out pus for 2-3. Osage orange hurts for about an hour and not so pussy.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 8:19PM
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Today my foot is almost back to normal- I'm pretty sure its a Brainard Hawthorne, there are hundreds of them if anybody wants to get impaled on a regular basis. I've never seen anything like this, its like a torture tree! Thanks everyone for your help. I need to get a suit of armor before touching them again.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 9:56AM
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