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Plant Type: Dormant, bare-root

Zones:  2-9

Soil Type:  Clay, Loamy & Sandy Soils

Site Selection: Full Sun, Partial Sun

Mature Height & Width:  40-60' Height and 40-50' Spread

Growth Rate:  Moderate - 12-24" per year on average

Moisture Requirements: Dry to wet soils

Plant Characteristics


Celtis occidentalis

Hackberry can be a hard seedling to find, but we have them! This member of the Elm family is one tough tree that is highly adaptable to most soil types. Commonly seen along fence rows and fields, it will grow naturally near bodies of water including floodplains and drainage ditches. The tree is easily recognizable from a distance by its light gray, warty bark on massive trunks. The Hackberry grows a broad crown with arching branches and produces red to purplish berries that birds enjoy.

The Hackberry can be used as an ornamental, even a specimen sometimes.  Hackberry will tolerate strong winds, air pollution and hot city streets.  This tough tree is able to be planted in a wide range of soil conditions and has good flooding and drought tolerance.  Many different birds are attracted to the berries that this tree produces.

Common uses for Hackberry include:

  • Used in wet areas like floodplains
  • Berries used in some jellies and wines
  • Large shade tree
  • Ornamental or specimen
  • Great wildlife value

Hackberry trees produce small, sweet fruits that are popular with many song birds, game birds, and small mammals. The fruit on this tree is especially appealing to mockingbirds, robins and Cedar Waxwings. Hackberries are also used as caterpillar host plants by a number of butterfly species.