and Deciduous Forest Trees
of Southern Ontario

Dwarf Hackberry
Celtis Tenuifolia

Location in Ontario: Dwarf Hackberry grows in Lambton County, on Point Pelee and Pelee Island, and north of Belleville.

COSEWIC (Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada) Status: Dwarf Hackberry is a threatened species in Canada. This is due to its limited range and loss of habitat.

Dwarf Hackberry in Point Pelee National Park

Genus Celtis: Leaves are simple, alternate and asymmetrical. Flowers are monoecious with longer, fuzzy male flowers and more rounded female flowers. Seeds are found in a reddish-purple drupe. In Ontario, Celtis includes Northern Hackberry and Dwarf Hackberry; similar species except for size.

Habitat: Dwarf Hackberry grows on dry, sandy soil and occasionally on alvars.

Landscape Use: Dwarf Hackberry can be bush-like or a very small tree, with attractive, asymmetrical leaves and colourful fruit. It is easily transplanted.

Leaves: Dwarf Hackberry leaves are simple, with a tapered tip. The shape is asymmetrical.


Flowers: Dwarf Hackberry is monoecious with male and female flowers on the same tree. Small, greenish flowers appear in May.

Fruit: The seeds are in a fruit (drupe) which is edible and matures in October. The reddish-purple fruit often stays on branches into winter. No data can be found on age to produce seeds or seed crops.


Bark: The bark is dark grayish brown with fissures.

Size: Growing only to 8 metres in height, Dwarf Hackberry is a shrubby, small sized tree. No data can be found for lifespan.

Wood: Dwarf Hackberry wood is too small to be used commercially.
Specific gravity: Unavailable
Janka Hardness:
Wood Comparison Chart

Dwarf Hackberry, University of Guelph Arboretum