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Similar but less problematic plants:
Celtis laevigata Celtis laevigata
Celtis occidentalis is often confused with:
Celtis laevigata Celtis laevigata
Celtis tenuifolia Celtis tenuifolia
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Quercus nigra Form
Quercus falcata Form
Acer saccharum form
Celtis occidentalis has some common insect problems:
Lace Bugs

Celtis occidentalis

Phonetic Spelling
SEL-tis ock-sih-den-TAH-liss
Description

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. It can be sparsely found throughout the state, though not in the high mountains. It is most abundant and reaches its maximum size on the rich alluvial lands in the lower part of the state, but it can survive and grow in most types of soil from the poorest to the richest.

It is best grown in moist, organically rich, well-drained soils in full sun and can be transplanted easily. It will tolerate part shade, wind, and many urban pollutants, but does not do well with maritime exposure.The wood is heavy, rather soft and weak. It decays quickly when exposed to moisture. The branches can tend to droop. These trees can live 150 to 200 years.

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems: Witches’ broom (creating dwarfed, dense, contorted twig clusters at the branch ends) is somewhat common; while it does little harm to the tree, but can be quite unsightly. Hackberry nipple gall also does not hurt the tree, but can disfigure the leaves. 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.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#shade tree#wildlife plant#native tree#moths#berries#street tree#playground#food source#cpp#NC native#nighttime garden#children's garden#edible fruits#pollinator plant#larval host plant#food source fall#fruits#bird friendly#butterfly friendly#pollinator garden#moth larva#question mark butterfly#hackberry emperor moth
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#shade tree#wildlife plant#native tree#moths#berries#street tree#playground#food source#cpp#NC native#nighttime garden#children's garden#edible fruits#pollinator plant#larval host plant#food source fall#fruits#bird friendly#butterfly friendly#pollinator garden#moth larva#question mark butterfly#hackberry emperor moth
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Celtus
    Species:
    occidentalis
    Family:
    Ulmaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    This plant was used for food, fuel and medicinal purposes by Native Americans. Today, Hackberry wood is used for furniture, in baskets and crates, and in some athletic equipment.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central & E. Canada to N. & E. U.S.A
    Wildlife Value:
    This plant supports Hackberry Emperor (Asterocampa celtis) and Question Mark Butterfly (Polygonia interrogationis) larvae. Questionmark butterflies have an interesting life cycles: overwintered adult Question Mark butterflies lay eggs from spring until the end of May. These will appear as summer adults from May-September, laying eggs that then develop into the winter adult form. The winter adults appear in late August and shelter for the winter starting the cycle all over again. Adult Question Mark butterflies feed on rotting fruit, tree sap, dung, and carrion only visiting flowers for feeding when absolutely necessary. Also a host plant for the American Snout, Mourning Cloak and Tawny Emperor butterflies. The fruits provide food source for many birds and small mammals. It also provides cover and nesting for birds. Cover is also provided for game birds, rabbits, and deer by the young stands.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Edible fruit
    Wildlife Cover/Habitat
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Nesting
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Moderately deer resistant and immune to Dutch Elm disease.
    Edibility:
    Fleshy parts of the fruit are edible and somewhat sweet. Can be eaten raw or used for making jellies and preserves.
    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
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Ascending
    Broad
    Pyramidal
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    more than 60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Orange
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    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. Birds consume the fruits and disperse the seeds. The globular fruit is borne singly on stems 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch long. It ripens in September, but often remains on the tree through the winter.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Insignificant
    Orange
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Petals:
    Colored Sepals
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Insignificant, mostly monoecious, greenish flowers appear in spring (April–May) with male flowers in clusters and female flowers solitary. Regardless of type, flowers are about ¼ inch across and predominately yellowish green; each flower has 4 to 5 oblong sepals connected together at the base. Male flowers also have 4 to 5 stamens with yellowish brown anthers, while female flowers have a green superior ovary that is ovoid in shape and tapers into 2 beaks. Originating from these beaks, is a pair of large brownish stigmata. Individual perfect flowers have both a superior ovary with a pair of stigmata and 4-5 stamens.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves are oval to lance-shaped, resembling those of an elm but more pointed. Glossy to dull green leaves (2 to 5 inches long) have mostly uneven leaf bases and are coarsely toothed from midleaf to tip. Fall color is an undistinguished yellow.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Brown
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Ridges
    Bark Description:
    Harkberry bark is greyish and generally smooth with characteristic corky warts or ridges. In some instances, the bark is smooth enough on the limbs to resemble that of a beech tree.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Zig Zags
    Stem Lenticels:
    Conspicuous
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Twigs are green to dark reddish gray and smooth. Young twigs are usually glabrous, but sometimes they are pubescent. Both twigs and young branches are covered with small white lenticels.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Recreational Play Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Children's Garden
    Native Garden
    Nighttime Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Shade Tree
    Street Tree
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Moths
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Pollution
    Poor Soil
    Wet Soil
    Wind