6 Hackberry
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Basic Information about this tree
  • Scientific Name: Celtis occidentalis
  • Common Names:American Hackberry, Nettle Tree, Beaverwood, Northern Hackberry, False Elm, Sugarberry

  • Deciduous
  • Sunlight / Moisture / Soil preference:  Full sun; tolerates compacted soils and a wide range of soil moistures and pH; salt sensitive; drought tolerant; river banks and rocky barrens common.
  • Flowering type: Male and female flowers are separate, but on the same tree (monoecious)
  • Pollination strategy: Wind
  • Native 
  • Age Estimate/ Health: About 4 years when planted 2023, healthy
  • Longevity:  150 to 200 years
  • Mature Size: 30-130 ft tall by 40-50 ft wide
  • GPS Coordinates  N45.00212 W 92.90414

Mature Tree in Winter/ Summer

Leaves in Summer / Fall

 Alternate, simple, singly toothed, uneven base; ovate in shape,  leaves are ovate, opposite, lightly pubescent (soft down or fine short hairs on the leaves and stems of plants), and 2- 3 inches long.

6 hackberry summer leaves
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Flowers - Female & Male if monoecious

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Fruit Unripe / Ripe

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6 hackberry fruit

Bark of Mature Tree / root system sketch

Bark is grayish with distinct corky ridges

6 hackberry bark
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Uses in Traditional and Modern Eras

Value for wildlife: The Hackberry Emperor butterfly (asterocampa celtis) lays its eggs on the Hackberry tree – the only host plant for its caterpillars.

Utility for Humans: not a popular ornamental tree, but exceptionally hardy and good shade tree for pavements and avenues.  Grows well near eastern redbud, American holly and summersweet.

Traditional uses in Native American Tree Medicine (historical):

Homeowner’s Corner Watch for leaf beetles, sap-sucking insects; longhorn beetles; brown spot; caterpillars; leaf miners; yellow spot.

Links & References

Website for reference

good book on this subject:

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