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.