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Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)

The common hackberry is a deciduous tree typically reaching heights of 60-100 feet, though its size can vary significantly depending on its environment. Its broad crown often exhibits an irregular shape, with spreading or slightly drooping branches that may form bushy growths known as witches' brooms. The mature bark is distinguished by prominent corky projections. The foliage of the tree is dull-green and coarse-textured, with unremarkable fall coloration. Clusters of orange-brown to dark-purple berries adorn the branches.

This tree is utilized in various industries, including furniture making, athletic equipment production, and the manufacturing of boxes, crates, and plywood. Its common name is thought to originate from "hagberry," which refers to a marsh berry in Scotland. The sweetish fruits are consumed by many birds, such as quail, pheasants, woodpeckers, and cedar waxwings. Infestations of mites and fungi can cause witches' brooms, resulting in the deformation of branches in this and other hackberry species. Additionally, the leaves often develop rounded galls due to the activity of tiny jumping plant lice.

    Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)
    Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)
    Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)

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