Carlyle Lake



Celtis occidentalis


Other Name: Sugarberry

Hackberry Leaves
Hackberry Leaves
Hackberry Bark
Hackberry Bark
Hackberry Bark Alternate
Hackberry Bark Alternate

Leaves: Alternate, simple; blades ovate or broadly lance-shaped, long pointed at the tip, rounded or tapering at the asymmetrical base, up to 6 inches long and up to half as broad, usually coarsely toothed along the edges except sometimes near the base, smooth or more often rough-hairy on one or more surfaces; leafstalks up to 1 inch long, smooth or hairy.

Buds: Slender, oval, pointed, brown and gray, finely hairy, about ¼ inch long.

Bark: Gray, smooth on young trees and soon bearing “warts,” becoming rough and scaly on old trees.

Twigs: Slender, oval, pointed, gray to reddish-brown, smooth sometimes zigzag; leaf scars alternate, usually crescent shaped, with 3 bundle traces.

Flowers: Arranged in drooping clusters, or sometimes solitary, appearing after the leaves are partly grown, greenish-yellow, without petals.

Fruits: Fleshy, nearly round, dark purple, about 1/3 inch in diameter, with 1 seed, ripening in September and October, borne on slender, drooping stalks.

Wood: Heavy, soft, close-grained, pale yellow.

Uses: Fence post, Furniture.

Habitat: Low woodlands.

Growth Form: Medium to large tree, up to 80 feet tall: Its trunk is straight, trunk diameter up to 5 feet; crown usually oblong with many small branches.

Distinguishing Feature: Hackberry leaves resemble those of some elms but have 3 main veins arising from the base of the blade. This hackberry differs from other hackberries in Illinois by its larger, usually coarsely toothed leaves and it’s larger, dark purple fruits.

Source: Mohlenbrock, Robert. Forest Trees of Illinois. Eighth Edition, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, 1996.