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Celtis occidentalis

Common Name(s):
Native Plants, Shrubs, Trees

The Celtis occidentalis is a deciduous tree that may grow to over 100 feet tall, but it usually occurs as a small tree in North Carolina.  The bark is grayish brown with characteristic corky warts.  

Regions:  Piedmont, Coastal Plains

Seasons of Interest: 

     Fruit/Seed/Nut:  Fall

Wildlife Value: The Hackberry tree is moderately deer resistant.  It is a host plant for the American Snout, Mourning Cloak, Question Mark, Hackberry Emperor and Tawny Emperor butterflies. Many bird species and small mammals eat the fruits.

Play Value: Wildlife Enhancement

Notes: Withstands wind, immune to Dutch elm disease, good for urban sites.

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems:  Witches’ broom (dwarfed, dense, contorted twig clusters at the branch ends) is also somewhat common. It also does little harm to the tree, but can be quite unsightly. Powdery mildew, leaf spot and root rot may occur. Watch for lacebugs and scale.  Seeds can pose clean up problems if trees are sited near sidewalks or patios.

You may also be interested inCeltis laevigataCeltis tenuifolia

40-60 feet
The Hackberry has an undistinguished yellow fall color.
Insignificant, mostly monoecious, greenish flowers appear in spring (April–May) on the Hackberry tree, with male flowers in clusters and female flowers solitary. Female flowers give way to an often abundant fruit crop of round fleshy berry-like drupes maturing to deep purple. Each drupe has one round brown seed within. Fruits are attractive to a variety of wildlife. Birds consume the fruits and disperse the seeds. Fleshy parts of the fruit are edible and somewhat sweet.
The Hackberry is best grown in moist, organically rich, well-drained soils in full sun. It will tolerate part shade. Also tolerates wind, many urban pollutants and a wide range of soil conditions, including both wet, dry and poor soils.
corky ridges and warty texture
upright-arching branching. rounded spreading crownl
Full sun, part shade, shade
fleshy berry-like drupes
40-60 feet
The leaves of the Hackberry are oval to lance-shaped, resembling those of an elm but more pointed. Ovate to oblong-ovate, rough-textured, glossy to dull green leaves (2-5” long) have mostly uneven leaf bases and are coarsely toothed from midleaf to acuminate (sharply pointed) tip.
play, cpp, deciduous, street tree, deer resistant, birds, playground, butterflies, shade tree, children’s garden

NCCES plant id: 3160

Celtis occidentalis Form
Celtis occidentalis Leaves
R. A. Nonenmacher, CC BY-SA - 4.0
Celtis occidentalis Bumpy trunk of Hackberry Tree (Celtis occidentalis) with Poison Ivy Vine (Toxicodendron radicans) winding around it.
Jimmy Smith, CC BY-NC-SA - 2.0
Celtis occidentalis Fruit
Yuriy Kvach, CC BY-SA - 4.0
Celtis occidentalis Insignificant flowers
Dan Mullen, CC BY-NC-SA - 2.0