Common Hackberry

Celtis occidentalis

A relatively unknown and underappreciated shade tree, the hackberry has distinct, light-gray raised corky bark and delicate, light green leaves resembling those of the American elm but are smaller in size. The hackberry is tough – tolerant of a variety of soil types and moisture conditions – and valued by wildlife for its small berry-like fruits called “drupes” that contain its seed.

Size and Light Requirements

The hackberry is a generalist. It performs well in full sun or partial shade conditions. A slow grower, in 40-50 years hackberries can reach approximately 30 to 40 feet in height.

Plant This Tree

This tree is available through our residential planting program, RiverSmart Homes. You can also get up to $50 back for planting this tree yourself through our tree rebate program.

Find Another Tree

All the trees in this guide have been selected by Casey Trees and are well adapted to the soil and conditions present in Washington, DC.

Photo Credits

Ross Bayton, Adam Shaw, Stan Porse, Dendroica cerulea, Yuriy Kvach