Quote of the Week

All through the long winter, I dream of my garden. On the first day of spring, I dig my fingers deep into the soft earth.
I can feel its energy, and my spirits soar.
Helen Hayes

Hackberry Celtis occidentalis Ulmaceae - Elm family zone 2-9

This native tree is known to grow happily under adverse conditions: dry soil, droughts and windy sites but is not restricted to those conditions, it also likes bottom land sites, slopes and bluffs. Limestone outcrops or limestone soils is why it makes it's home in Ontario. It grows with Sugar Maples, Beeches, Basswoods forests.  A mature Hackberry grows to 30 - 50' tall, but can grow much taller if it is really please with where it's roots are placed. Roots go deep if the soil allows and is tolerant of flooding. It shape is somewhat like the elm, it's pyramidal in youth and as it gets older it develops a broad top crown with ascending arching branches.
The fruit are consumed by birds and wildlife and are date flavoured, however be careful eating them yourself, if you bite down on a seed it can shatter your teeth. Birds who like the fruit are quail, ring necked pheasant, wild turkey, cedar waxwings, grouse, yellow-bellied sapsuckers, mockingbirds, robins plus a plethora of others.
This tree is urban tolerant and makes a lovely shade tree that grows rapidly. It's bark is grayish with corky ridges and later becomes somewhat scaly. It is the draping shape of this tree and the bark that makes it stand out in a crowd.