Northern Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)



Northern Hackberry is a hardy drought-resistant tree that is very suitable for the urban environment.  It is common to the forests of Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec, including along the Ottawa Valley.  Hackberry grows up to 15 meters tall, with an upright arching shape similar to the elm.   In fact it is actually a member of the Elm family (Ulmaceae), although it has small berry-like fruit, with a pit inside.  It can live up to 150 years.  Hackberry transplants well, grows in a variety of soils, and is moderately shade-tolerant.  As a shade tree, its leaves form a pretty lacy pattern of medium-density shade that filters the sunlight.   Its sweet berry-like fruits attract birds.Here in Ottawa we are just beginning to see more of them being planted around the city, as the ash trees die off and are replaced.