Celtis occidentalis

Common name: Hackberry

Native plant

In youth, Hackberry’s branching habit is very unruly, numerous branches with leaders everywhere! When the tree reaches 3 inches in caliper, it looks very much like an elm. Very adaptable tree, growing in wet and dry soils in full sun. Does well as a street tree. The birds relish the purplish-black fruit. I have tried the flesh around the drupe, and it is very good. Be careful not to bite the seed hard as it is very tough! Hackberry is susceptible to nipple gall and witches broom, with nipple gall being the most prevalent. The gall and the tree get along just fine; it is human perception that causes the problem! Hackberry’s growth rate is very fast in its youth and slows as it matures, but it should grow 20-25 feet in 10 years.

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Plant Details

Plant type

Tree

Soil type

Dry Mesic, Mesic (Not too Wet Not too Dry), Moist Mesic

Light exposure

Eastern Exposure / Morning Sun, Full Sun, Partial Sun / Part Shade

Bloom period

Spring

Urban environment

Uncompacted Urban Soils, Harsh Exposure Tolerant, New Construction, Road-side/Salt Tolerant, Yards that Flood

Habitat

Floodplain, Savannas, Woodlands

Growth form

Single trunk

Growth rate

Moderate

Flower color

Green White

Fall color

Yellow

Size

Mature height
50 Feet
Mature width
40 Feet
Max height
60 Feet
Max width
60 Feet

Additional information

Butterfly host plant Great Shade Tree Loved by birds

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