Hackberry, an awesome tree that does very well in our area and is an easier one to learn identification of for the dendrologists out there!  Look for the raised bark along the trunk of the tree and/or the circular fruits that it produces, these fruits start out green and then turn a purplish color as they ripen.

Celtis occidentalis is naturally found in eastern North America to Canada and in the Mississippi Basin growing in fertile, moderately moist, well-drained soils along riverbanks and in woodlands. In closed forests the habit is more fastigiate and in the open the habit becomes broad.

This tree has an upright habit with widely spreading branches and a dense rounded crown, a great option if you are looking for shade. The mid green, heart-shaped leaves turn pale yellow during autumn. The small male and female flowers are subtle. The purplish fruit that follows is rarely seen due to how quickly it is consumed by wildlife.

Some common issues that you will find on a Hackberry is Hackberry Nipple Gall.  This is a leaf gall caused by a tiny insect called the hackberry gall psyllid.  This leaf gall, like most leaf galls are not impactful to the tree, but it can be unsightly.  In most cases, treatment is not necessary, but having an ISA Certified Arborist help you make that decision would be best.

Hackberry is an excellent tree selection for your yard if you are looking for shade and a tree that can get quite large, on average about 40’-60’ tall.

Hackberry Fruits Hackberry Bark Nipple Gall Hackberry

2 Responses

  1. Hello,

    I have a question about the Hackberry. I live on a mountain in zone 8 and theres about 6 feet of soil before you hit the fractured granite.

    How would the tree handle that situation and would it reduce the trees ability to withstand wind?


  2. Thanks for following our blog. We don’t have much familiarity with mountainous environments, but the more space you can have for a root system the better the stability and protection against wind throw for the tree. There are certainly many arborists in mountain areas who could help you select the correct tree for your environment and site. To help identify qualified tree care in your area, check out the Tree Care Industry Association site, “Finding Qualified Tree Care”. A great resource for qualified arborists in your local area.

    Good luck with your planting!


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