Search plant names:
Links for Teachers
Site Map

Home > Resources > North Carolina Trees > Hackberry


(Celtis occidentalis L)

  Hackberry can be sparsely found throughout the state, except in the high mountains. It is most abundant and reaches its greatest size in rich alluvial lands in the lower part of the state, but it can survive and grow on most types of soil, from the poorest to the richest. The tree commonly grows to 30 to 40 feet in height and I to 2 feet in diameter. On the best sites, it may reach a height of 130 feet and a diameter of4 feet or more.

Hackberry leaves are asymmetrically oval, 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches long with sharply toothed margins. (They are often entire, or smooth-margined, below the middle.) They have curved, pointed tips. The globular fruit is born singly on stems 1/2 to 3/4 inch long. It ripens in September but often remains on the tree over the winter. The fruit is dark purple and about 1/3 -inch in diameter.

Hackberry bark is grayish and generally smooth, with characteristic corky warts or ridges. In some instances, the bark is smooth enough on the limbs to resemble that of the beech.

The wood is heavy, rather soft and weak. It decays quickly when exposed to moisture. Hackberry wood is used in furniture, for baskets and crates, and in some athletic equipment.
Plant Information Center
About PIC  |  Project Staff   |  Advisory Panel Research Activities |  
Partners  Permissions 
  Funding provided in part by
Institute of Museum and Library Services

Plant Information Center is produced
in conjunction with Botnet