The hackberry is my favorite deciduous tree and if I had room for only one tree it would be a Hackberry.
The Hackberry is a large, moderate-fast growth tree for zones 2-9, and can grow up to 90 ft tall. It has very strong wood that is very stringy and is rarely effected by windstorms, when we had our tornado here in 2004 we lost only one small branch on the tree in the picture. It actually ripped all the leaves off the tree, and bent the tree over so far that it wrinkled the bark and it pulled away from the trunk but survived all that with no ill effects.
You will never have to rake the leaves from a Hackberry as they totally dry up and are easily mowed into mulch. The small pea sized fruits turn purple in the fall and are eaten by various animals and birds who spread the trees throughout the environment. The seeds are hard so never cause a mess. Have seen Hackberry grow 8 ft in one year when we had good rains all summer long.
It survives well in most locations and can grow well in almost any soil and is very drought resistant. Does not like to be flooded for weeks at a time but everywhere else is fine. Will grow well in the middle of a gravel road and new trees are frequently found growing in the rocks around old abandon quarries.
Fall color is a yellow
The leaf looks similar to an elm tree but the bark is very distinct with it warty appearance and is the easiest way to identify it. They makes a great yard or windbreak tree and keep all Hackberry at least 30 ft from any evergreen row especially arborvitae as there roots can go large distances and compete with other trees for moisture.
For a deciduous windbreak recommend putting with other species and space them 12-20 ft part in a single row, we like to use them on the outside of your evergreen windbreaks if you have room. Keep 30 ft from any evergreens to prevent light and root competition. If wanting to use deciduous trees for a windbreak contact us on what is currently working best for your situation.
Large Hackberry goes down in over 100 mph storm. Hackberry has very strong wood and deep wide spreading roots, and is rarely damaged by storms but with 5 inches of rain, and over 100 MPH winds, the roots broke loose and the tree toppled. The roots went over 5 ft deep and probably out 40+ ft from the tree. No branches were broken before the roots let loose.
This is a very rare occurrence so is why I had to put it on this website. One of the best trees for windy or rocky conditions in our windbreaks, or shade tree.
Kelly Tree Farm, 191 Quincy Ave. Clarence IA 52216 - PH: 563-452-4300 - email@example.com