Hackberry

Silhouette - hackberry
  • Latin name: Celtis occidentalis L.
  • French name: Micocoulier occidental
  • Synonym(s): Northern hackberry
  • Taxonomic Serial Number: 19040
Description

Leaves

  • Leaf with detail of vein division below leaf base - hackberry

Form

  • Alternate in 2 rows along the twig
  • Variable in size and shape
  • Widest toward the asymmetrical base
  • Long tapering tip
  • Veins hairy on lower surface
  • Lowest pair of veins originate at an acute angle just below the base of the blade
  • 4 or 5 veins per side

Length

  • 6–9 cm

Colour

  • Upper surface deep bluish-green
  • Lower surface paler

Autumn colour

  • Yellow

Margin

  • 15-40 teeth per side

Petiole

  • Short

Buds

  • Lateral bud and leaf scar - hackberry

Form

  • Ovoid, flattened, pointed
  • In 2 rows along the twig, with 5 or more scales in 2 rows
  • No true terminal bud; end bud originates as a lateral bud, often bent
  • Leaf scars raised, semi-oval, with 3 vein scars

Length

  • 6–8 mm

Twigs

  • Longitudinal section of twig showing chambered pith - hackberry
  • Winter twig - hackberry

Form

  • Slender, covered with fine hairs
  • Pith with cavities separated by transverse partitions, especially at the leaf nodes

Colour

  • Green

Flowers

Form

  • Small
  • Pollen flowers in small clusters at the base of the new shoot
  • Seed flowers single, in the axils of the new leaves

Colour

  • Greenish

Structure

  • Monoecious

Fruits

  • Fruit (left); pitted stone (right) - hackberry

Form

  • Berry-like, with a pitted stone
  • Solitary on slender stalk, persisting on the tree in winter
  • Edible
  • Seed crops abundant most years

Width

  • 6–8 mm

Colour

  • Reddish-purple

Structure

  • Drupe

Bark

Form

  • Irregular narrow ridges with distinctive wart-like projections
  • Stratified layers in cross-section

Colour

  • Grey to light yellowish-brown

Wood

Texture

  • Heavy, coarse, hard, weak

Colour

  • Brown streaked with yellow

Morphology

  • Attractive grain-pattern on tangential surfaces
  • Ring-porous; pores, rays and annual rings easily visible

Uses

  • Landscape planting
  • Increasingly common as urban street tree

Size

Height

  • To 15 m

Diameter

  • To 50 cm

Maximum age

  • 150 years

Tree form

  • Silhouette - hackberry

Forest-grown

Crown

  • Broad, with ascending arching branches that droop at the tips

Habitat

Site

  • A variety of soils

Light tolerance

  • Moderately shade-tolerant

Range

  • Common at Point Pelee and other localities on Lake Erie in Ontario
  • Sparsely distributed in Ontario and Quebec; also reported from
    the south end of Lake Manitoba
Insects and diseases

Insects and diseases that are found most frequently and/or that cause the most damage in our Canadian forests.

Photos
  • Hackberry
  • Hackberry
  • Hackberry
  • Hackberry
  • Hackberry
  • Hackberry
Distribution map
Distribution map - hackberry
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