American Hackberry

Celtis occidentalis

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Full Retail Price: $195 (Why the difference?)

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Valuable to wildlife Valuable to wildlife
Drought Tolerant Drought Tolerant

A relatively unknown and underappreciated shade tree, the hackberry has distinct, light-gray raised corky bark and light green leaves. Medium-sized tree, highly tolerant of urban conditions, with unusual bark at maturity.

Growing Conditions:
Best grown in full sun but tolerant of partial sun. Prefers moist, rich soils and is also highly adaptable to adverse conditions.

Beneficial for wildlife, and one of the best trees for providing food and shelter to birds and small animals. It is host to at least five different species of butterflies. Its fruits are attractive to many birds (especially in the winter), including cedar waxwings, woodpeckers, mockingbirds, and robins. The leaves also provide food for many caterpillars.

45' at maturity

35' at maturity

Upright oval in youth, rounded to irregular as it matures

Greenish-yellow in April and May, they emerge with leaves.

Leaves are medium to dark green, about four inches long, and alternate along the stem. Yellow in fall.

Grayish brown, thin and rough when young with corky ridges developing later. Bark becomes ornamental with age.

More Information:
Society of Municipal Arborists 2020 Urban Tree of the Year! The hackberry was traditionally used for many medicinal and food purposes. The bark was used to regulate menstrual cycles, colds, and sore throats. The fruit was often mixed with fat and corn to produce a porridge-like substance and it was also pounded into a paste and baked in the oven.