Plant Information

Plant Information


Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)

Planting Site:

Hackberry is large, tough, and fast-growing tree with a round to vase-shaped crown. Its branches ascend in a loosely pyramidal fashion, and the tree grows to 40 to 60 feet in height. Insignificant flowers appear in April and May, along with the leaves. Bright fruit, which starts yellow, changes to red-orange and matures to a deep purple-black, and ripens in September and October, much to the delight of wildlife. Because of its adaptability, it is a good tree for urban areas. A tough urban tree, this native woodland tree is best recognized by its corky, warty bark and by its sharply toothed leaves, which are often covered with bumpy insect galls. The leaves have an uneven base, showing the hackberry's relation to elms. Despite its unappetizing name, hackberry bears sweet, edible berries that are popular with wildlife.

Illinois native species. 

Celtis occidentalis


Street: Appropriate for restricted size planting sites; recommended by the City of Chicago Urban Tree Planting List
Park/Residential: Appropriate for landscaped planting sites including public parks, residential property, golf courses, cemeteries, etc.
Legacy: For plantings with an expected life span of more than 60 years; retained 50 percent or more climate suitability in models for the decade 2080
N/R +35 yrs: Not recommended for plantings with an expected life span of more than 35 years