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Celtis occidentalis Celtus occidentalis

Common Name(s):

  • Hackberry
Description

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. It is best grown in moist, organically rich, well-drained soils in full sun. It will tolerate part shade, wind, many urban pollutants, and a wide range of soil conditions, including both wet, dry and poor soils.

Seasons of Interest: 

     Fruit/Seed/Nut:  Fall

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.

 

Cultivars:
Tags:
#butterflies#fruit#birds#pollinators#shade tree#wildlife plant#host plant#berries#street tree#playground#host#cpp#children's garden
Cultivars:
Tags:
#butterflies#fruit#birds#pollinators#shade tree#wildlife plant#host plant#berries#street tree#playground#host#cpp#children's garden
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Celtus
    Species:
    occidentalis
    Family:
    Cannabaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    North America
    Wildlife Value:
    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
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    The Hackberry tree is moderately deer resistant.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 40 ft. 0 in. - 100 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 40 ft. 0 in. - 60 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Rounded
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full Sun (Direct sunlight 8+ hours a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight (2-4 hrs) for only part of the day
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    more than 60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Description:
    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.
  • Flower:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Orange
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    Insignificant, mostly monoecious, greenish flowers appear in spring (April–May) on the Hackberry tree, with male flowers in clusters and female flowers solitary.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    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. Fall color is an undistinguished yellow.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Brown
    Light Gray
    Bark Description:
    The bark is grayish brown with characteristic corky warts.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Children's Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Shade Tree
    Street Tree
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Pollution
    Wet Soil
    Wind