Gardening Questions And Answers
It establishes easily and grows well in urban landscapes because of its wide soil adaptability and its tolerance of heat, drought, salt spray, wind, ice, and short-term flooding. The bark of hackberry provides year-round interest in landscapes. The fruit is a popular food for birds and small mammalian wildlife.
Plantings will take place in the late winter to early spring. The seedlings should be placed outdoors in mid to late summer to harden them off. This will also reduce heat damage to the roots on warm summer days. Pots used for growing the seedlings must be deep because hackberry is a deep rooting species.
It needs full sun for the best growing conditions. If you are planting the tree, the hackberry needs at least six hours of direct and unfiltered sunlight every day. Mature trees grow to 25 to 50 feet tall with a rounded and dense canopy. Young hackberry trees need moist soil to begin the growing process.
Common hackberry is easily identified by its distinctive corky, knobby bark. Young trees are smooth, and as the tree matures, the bark forms these distinctive knobs and then ridges. Hackberry nipple galls form as the larvae of hackberry nipple gall psyllids feed within the leaves. They are very common.
The hackberry, while often forgotten by casual consumers, is commonly heralded by tree experts as “one tough tree.” Found on a wide range of soils east of the Rockies from southern Canada to Florida, these trees thrive in a broad span of temperatures and on sites that vary from 14 to 60″ of annual rainfall.
The first season after planting, you should water your hackberry tree every week (especially during dry conditions), so that the roots become established. After that, these trees generally only require water when the weather is particularly dry. These trees are known to be able to withstand both flooding and drought.
sinensis “Green Cascade” is a rare weeping variety of hackberry. It does not form an upright trunk, so it needs to be trained against a trellis, fence or stake to grow upright. If not supported, this tree can creep along the ground like a ground cover. It has smooth, glossy, green leaves and grows quickly.