Northern Hackberry
Celtis occidentalis

Location in Ontario
Northern Hackberry grows throughout the Deciduous Forest Region, and along the Ottawa River. Hackberry is found on a variety of soils.

TREE FACT: The forest in Point Pelee National Park is dominated by Northern Hackberry, a very uncommon occurance!


Northern Hackberry, Long Point, Norfolk County 

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.

In the Landscape
Hackberry is a small to medium sized tree, reaching 20 metres. It can live to be 200 years of age. Northern Hackberry makes an interesting landscape tree with its beautiful and unusual bark. It is a medium sized tree with a rounded top and colourful fruit, that is easily transplanted. The leaves, however, are susceptible to galls.


Northern Hackberry, University of Guelph Arboretum

Leaves
Hackberry leaves are alternate and simple, with a tapered tip. The shape is asymmetrical. Hackberry is susceptible to Gall Psyllids, an insect which covers the leaves with "galls". These small bumps can make the leaves unattractive. Leaves turn yellow to brown in the fall.
Bark
The bark is gray and unusual, with irregular ridges.
Flowers
Northern Hackberry is monoecious with male and female flowers on the same tree. Small, greenish flowers appear in May with the leaves. Flowers are wind pollinated.
Fruit
The seeds are in a reddish-purple fruit (drupe) which is edible and matures in October. It is an important source of food for many types of wildlife.  The fruit often stays on branches into winter. Fruit is produced after 15 years, with good seed crops most years.
 
Wood
The wood is hard and heavy, but weak. Hackberry is occasionally used commercially for some low grade furniture, boxes and crates.
Specific gravity:
0.53
Janka Hardness:
880 lb
Wood Comparison Chart
  

Early leaves

Link to United States Forest Service Silvics Manual for Northern Hackberry.

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