The persistent fruits attract many birds that also find the tree to be a suitable nesting site. WARNING: Some websites to which these materials provide links for the convenience of users are not managed by the University of Kentucky. Hackberry trees are related to elms and they grow all over North America. I’ve always loved hackberry, but didn’t know about the butterfly benefit! This species is native to the Chicago region according to Swink and Wilhelm's Plants of the Chicago Region, with … If you came to see Butterflies & Blooms in late summer, you may have seen the many mourning cloaks fluttering around the Learning Campus thanks to our hackberry trees. The small tree produces an orange-red to dark purple drupe that matures in the fall. If you use your imagination, it’s like a miniature Grand Canyon on its side, with layers of material exposed on the edges of steep plateaus. The bark of the Netleaf Hackberry is used to make sandals. Boiling the leaves and bark of hackberry produces a red or dark brown dye, which is used for coloring wool. Site design : Academic Web Pages. Height 40' to 75', diameter 10" to 36"; limbs often crooked and angular; tree head made up of slender, hanging branches or short, bristly, stubby twigs when growing in the forest; in the open, crown is generally symmetrical. Native only to the northern High Plains in the valley of the Canadian River, but planted widely as a landscape tree across north and northeast Texas, growing well on various soil types. Their heads tend to have a round top and their branches are pendulous. We have a hackberry planted in our parkway. Hackberry bark, north side. Phonetic Spelling SEL-tis ock-sih-den-TAH-liss Description. It tolerates tough sites and excels in urban plantings. It is a moderately long-lived hardwood with a light-colored wood, yellowish gray to light brown with yellow streaks. The tree is easily recognizable from a distance by its light gray, warty bark on massive trunks. Their bark is either silvery gray or light brown. N-318 Ag Sciences Center University of Kentucky Lexington, KY 40546-0091, Fax (Lexington): 859-257-2859       (Princeton): 270-365-2667, For questions about home gardening, landscaping or commercial horticulture production, please contact your county extension agent. I’ve been doing a long term restoration of a lowland that was filled with buckthorn and honeysuckle. It is also known as the nettletree, sugarberry, beaverwood, northern hackberry, and American hackberry. Kathy J. has been learning and teaching kids about nature for more than 20 years. Hackberry Tree held special medical value for the Native Americans, who used the bark of the hackberry tree for problems, viz., curing sore throat or venereal diseases, regulating the menstrual cycle, or even for inducing abortions. It may occur in pure stands but usually occurs as an occasional tree in association with many other hardwood species, primarily sweetgum, pecan, green ash, elms, overcup oak, water oak, and honeylocust. We always thought it was an ash but recently someone came to cut down branches and said it was a hackberry. The bark looks like millions of skinny ridges that are layered like sedimentary rock. Common hackberry is more susceptible to an unsightly witches-broom, which can disfigure branches but does not seriously affect the health of the tree. In spring, small, stalked, light green flowers mature. First, hackberry bark is always the same steely whitish gray color. View all posts by Kathy J. ©2012 Chicago Botanic Garden and Individual flowers, regardless of type, are about ¼" across and predominately yellowish green; each flower has 4-5 oblong sepals that … Hackberry, also known as Common Hackberry, Northern Hackberry, or American Hackberry, is present throughout the upper half of the eastern United States, the Great Plains, and southern Canada, including almost all of Ohio. A nice benefit is it somewhat resembles elm, but is not subject to dutch elm disease. Wildlife, particularly birds and squirrels, enjoy and seek out hackberry's nutritious fruits. Submitted by Brenna Anstett on March 12, 2018. I have noticed question mark butterflies now and then since the hackberry arrived. They makes a great yard or windbreak tree and keep all Hackberry at least 30 ft from any evergreen row especially arborvitae as there roots can go large distances and compete with other trees for moisture. The bark of the hackberry is so distinctive it is a wonder that it is not more common in ornamental landscape plantings. Some parts of the hackberry trees have been used for firewood, producing drugs and for making various types of craft items. The hackberry, while often forgotten by casual consumers, is commonly heralded by tree experts as “one tough tree.” Found on a wide range of soils east of the Rockies from southern Canada to Florida, these trees thrive in a broad span of temperatures and on sites that vary from 14 to 60" of annual rainfall. The bark of hackberries varies widely from almost completely smooth to almost completely bumpy, but there are two things it always has in common. Hackberry forms a rounded vase reaching a height of 40 to 80 feet, is a rapid grower, and transplants easily. This species is also found in the northeastern areas of Mexico. This tree has weak wood that breaks under the stresses of snow, ice and wind. One of the trees that is making a comeback is hackberry. Now that most of the trees have dropped their leaves, the scenery appears brown and boring UNLESS you know what to look for. I… Many people think of the grand canyon when they see the bark. The Hackberry grows a broad crown with arching branches and produces red … These trees are deep-rooted and often used to bring erosion under control. An Equal Opportunity University. I find the texture on this north-facing side of the trunk to look like bicycle chains. Open your eyes to tree bark this winter. Leaves are generally smaller than the other two hackberries and have few teeth. Send mail to with questions about this site. One reason for the popularity of this tree is that the fruits—hackberries—feed birds, squirrels, and other woodland creatures. It is a tree that frequents fencerows, fields, and wastelands, and grows naturally near bodies of water, including floodplains and drainage ditches. The Houma Indians used hackberry bark to make a decoction for sore throats and a decoction mixed with powdered shells to treat venereal disease. For undergraduate student information regarding the Sustainable Agriculture program, contact Dr. Krista Jacobsen at (859) 257-3921, or Their long and widespread branches often work well as windbreakers, while the roots prevent the soil from eroding. Dwarf Hackberry is a deciduous tree that may grow 20 to 30 feet tall. Although sugar hackberry has been used as a street tree in many cities in the South, its use has been banned by other cities because of problems with trunk rot. The leaves are ovoid and the flowers are greenish-white. This type of shedding affects the health and lifespan of the tree, and wider areas of exposed wood make it more likely that the tree will die. It is easily recognizable from a distance by its light gray, warty bark on massive trunks, coupled with its rapid growth rate and large size. Hackberry is a Chicago-area native and a sturdy, tolerant shade tree for streets and parkways, or parks and other large areas. A hackberry is a medium sized tree indigenous to North Dakota but able to survive throughout most of the United States. Small, blue-black fruits favored by birds spread seedlings all over. When peeling bark on trees is limited to the south or southwest side of the tree and bare wood is exposed, the problem may be sunscald or frost damage. Introduction: Sugar hackberry is commonly used as a shade tree because it is both handsome and tolerant of urban stresses. In the summer, caterpillars of mourning cloak, question mark, and hackberry emperor butterflies feed on the leaves. The papago tribe made use of the bark of the hackberry tree to make footwear. The mature bark is light gray, bumpy, and corky, while its small, berry-like fruit turns from orange-red to purple and … The effect is cosmetic only and does not warrant control. Native to central and northeastern North America, hackberry is one of the toughest and most adaptable deciduous trees in the country. The university does not review, control or take responsibility for the contents of those sites. The leaf looks similar to an elm tree but the bark is very distinct with it warty appearance and is the easiest way to identify it. Although this native of the southeastern U.S. thrives in the wild along stream banks and river flood plains, it adapts well to dry conditions. Occasionally, Hackberry tree is used to landscape and as a street tree. Take a look at the interesting texture of this bark. The fruit is a dark purple drupe about 1/3 inch in diameter which is used by several species of birds including flickers, cardinals, cedar waxwings, brown thrashers, and robins. She collects bugs, watches squirrels, does not get a rash from poison ivy, practices “snacker” behavior in winter, and is always on alert for interesting plants and animals. Celtis occidentalis, or Hackberry, is a deciduous tree, native to North Carolina, that commonly grows to 30 to 40 feet in height and 1 to 2 feet in diameter, but on the best sites, may reach a height of 130 feet and a diameter of 4 feet or more.It has a straight central trunk and an ovoid crown with a cylindrical shape once mature. A hardy, urban shade tree, the hackberry (Celtis occidentalis) can easily withstand strong winds, pollution, heat, salt, and tough soils, while still adding visual interest and beauty to a landscape. This tree often flies under the radar, but its ability to attract a variety of wildlife makes it the perfect tree to help you create a diverse ecosystem in your own … Occurs … It has smooth gray bark that may become somewhat corky with age. Scroll back up—do you recognize the large picture above? Common Hackberry is polygamo-monoecious, producing male (staminate), female (pistillate), and perfect flowers on the same tree. However, these fruits can develop abundant seedlings that can become a weed pest. Celtis occidentalis, commonly known as the common hackberry, is a large deciduous tree native to North America. Your email address will not be published. The worst thing about hackberry is that woolly aphids feeding on the leaves drip sticky honeydew. This was taken in McDonald Woods, along the trail near Parking Lot 4. It is a tree you will find in many parks in the United States. The parts of Hackberry trees are used in the making of craft items and for firewood. Bark. The bark is mostly smooth and gray, with small bumps or warts on the older stems. Take a look at the interesting texture of this bark. The trees have strong tap roots and many shallow, spreading roots. Haven’t seen any fruit, though. Because of the berries it produces that are so attractive to birds, you will often see hackberry trees along fence lines and power lines where the birds have perched after eating the berries elsewhere. Hackberry grows best in moist, well-drained organically rich soil, but it also tolerates a wide range of wet and dry soil conditions, including clay and limestone. For starters, I’d like to share one of my favorites: the hackberry, Celtis occidentalis. There is usually a distinct pattern on the surface. I find the texture on this north-facing side of the trunk to look like bicycle chains. Thank you! The leaf underside has large, netlike veins. What is a Hackberry Tree? The leaves are alternate with a smooth or toothed margin and asymmetrical base. Dwarf hackberry is a shrub to small tree up to 24 feet tall, often somewhat scraggly with some corky projections on the bark. Witches’ broom is a disease where a dense cluster of branches grows from a single point, often resembling a broom or bird’s nest. The Tree is a deciduous tree, it will be up to 25 m (82 ft) high. I've never noticed any berries on it. No other bark that I have ever seen has layered bumps like this. The bark is light to dark gray in color; on young trees the warty outgrowths appear to be scattered randomly while on older trees the warty outgrowths develop into narrow corky projecting ridges. You’ll find a range of interesting patterns and textures and maybe even learn something new about the trees around you. Learning to identify trees by their bark can be a fun winter challenge. Required fields are marked *. Parts of the hackberry trees have been used in the production of drugs so that should lead some credence that the Native Americans were correct in using the Hackberry tree for medical purposes. Copyright 2020, University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. I've attached pictures both of the leaves and bark. Leaf: Alternate, simple, 2" to 4" long and 1.5" to 2" wide, ovate, long-pointed, with the base of the leaf lopsided and sharp teeth along the margin. The leaves of hackberry have a rough texture, like sandpaper. The berries were often used to add flavor to food, while the wood from these trees … Witches’ brooms are also common among hackberry trees. It is also susceptible to galls, caused by insects called psyllids, that can disfigure the leaves. Second, the bark always has at least some bumps or ridges, which are made of layers and look somewhat like topographic maps. It has a distinctive warty bark surface sometimes described as stucco-like. The sugarberry grows on stream banks, river bottoms, and moist alluvial flats of clay and silt loam. The wood has a charecteristic yellowish white color. What do you see? It differs from sugar hackberry in that the leaves are toothed and not smooth. The bark is gray and smooth with small warts. For general undergraduate student information, contact Dr. Rick Durham at (859) 257-3249, or Hackberry trees are known for their corky texture and warty growths on the bark. Now I really love them all the more! The large tree to the left of the bridge is a hackberry. However, Celtis occidentalis is a forgiving urban tree and is considered tolerant of most soil and moisture conditions. It is also used in the treatment of throat infection and venereal disease. I’m talking about tree bark. Hackberry may not be in the top ten trees you think of, but maybe it should be. Your email address will not be published. Fruit is orange to brown or red, to about ¼ inch wide. While the hackberry tree prefers to grow on soil that is rich and moist, it can also grow on rocky or gravelly hillsides, too. The tree likes Sun to half-shade at the location and the soil should be sandy to loamy, tolerates dryness. The Common Hackberry is botanically called Celtis occidentalis. Common hackberry (C. occidentalis) tolerates most difficult sites and is native from Canada to Georgia including Kentucky. This site was last updated on November 30, 2020. Hackberry is easy to recognize by its silvery-gray bark encrusted with warty ridges. Behind the Scenes at Wonderland Express, Part II, The Gift That Keeps on Giving: Holiday Plants, The surprising science behind hummingbirds and flowers. Plant hackberry trees in almost any soil. Planting Hackberry Trees. Can you tell me if this is an ash tree or a hackberry tree? It is found in the southeastern United States from southeastern Virginia to southern Florida (including the Florida Keys) and west to southwestern Texas. If you use your imagination, it’s like a miniature Grand Canyon on its side, with layers of material exposed on the edges of steep plateaus. Click here, then click on your county either on the map or from the list of counties below it. Hackberry trees are related to elms and they grow all over North America. Its fleshy, purple-brown berries ripen in late summer and persist through winter. We have a few of them on the east side of Parking Lot 4. Sooty mold grows on the honeydew, blackening absolutely everything under the tree. For graduate student information, contact Dr. Doug Archbold at 859-257-3352, or, Sugar Hackberry - Celtis laevigataElm Family (Ulmaceae). The hackberry tree, or Celtis occidentalis, is a vigorously growing member of the elm family. bark The simple, alternate leaf of Celtis occidentalis , with three major veins originating at the asymetrical base, is very distinctive within the Wisconsin flora. Hackberry has characteristic wart-like bark and dark-red to purple fruits, lending itself well to bird-centric landscapes. What do you see? When she’s not watching something in the trees or spending time with her teenage daughters, she’s overseeing programs for teachers and students at the Garden. They would be a great addition to a winter garden especially. The bark resembles warts on young trees and changes into ridges as the tree matures. Several cultivars of common hackberry are available with either a single leader or more resistance to witches-broom These include ‘Chicagoland,' ‘Delta' and ‘Prairie Pride.'. It grows at a moderate-to-fast rate of 12 to 15 inches per year. The conspicuously ridged bark of mature trunks is also characteristic and terminal buds are often strongly angled to one side. × Hackberry is an easy to identify member of the Elm family but in a different genus (Celtis occidentalis). Common Hackberry is a large, Wisconsin native shade tree with a vase shape canopy.
2020 hackberry tree bark