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Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)

Hackberry, a member of the Elm family (Ulmaceae), is a tree found throughout much of the Eastern U.S. and adjacent Canada, south to Florida, and west through the Great Plains. It occurs on moist bottomland soils and somewhat drier sites with limestone derived soils. Several good examples of Hackberry can be seen along Arboretum trails. One is located near the start of the South Forest Loop Road just downhill from the entrance to the Cemetery Ridge Trail. There are also several Hackberries along the Heath Cove Trail, three at its entrance on the Valley Road, and another at the top of the loop before proceeding uphill to the Program Shelter.

Hackberry Leaves Hackberry Bark Hackberry leaves are ovate in shape, being wide at the base and tapering to the tip. The leaf tip margins are toothed (serrate), and the leaf base tends to be asymmetrical. The light brown to gray bark of older trees is typically warty.

Hackberry Fruit The dark orange to purple fruits ripen in September. These fruits are eaten and widely dispersed by birds (e.g., wild turkeys, grouse, and quail) and other wildlife. Sugarberry (Celtis laevigata), a closely related species, is hard to distinguish from Hackberry - one feature is that Sugarberry's long leaves differ from those of Hackberry in having mostly smooth edges with few teeth.

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University of Tennessee - Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center
901 South Illinois Avenue, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37830 · Telephone: 865-483-3571 · Email: UTforest@utk.edu