Celtis occidentalis
Common name: 
Common Hackberry
SEL-tis (KEL-tis) ok-si-den-TAH-lis
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Deciduous tree, 40-60(90) ft  [12-15(27) m] tall, similar spread, ascending arching branches, some drooping branches.  Leaves simple, alternate (2 rows along twig), 6-9 cm long, ovate to oblong-ovate, long tapering tip, margin serrate except at base, dull light or medium green above, paler below (yellow or green yellow in fall), petiole 13-19 mm.  Flowers greenish-yellow appear in spring as the foliage just begins to emerge, male (staminate), female (pistillate), and perfect flowers may be borne on a single tree.  Fruit is berry-like drupe, reddish-purple, 6-8 mm across, persisting in winter, edible (flavor similar to dates).
  • Sun, prefers rich, moist, soils but grows in dry, heavy or sandy soils.  Withstands alkaline or acid soils, wind, heat and urban conditions.
  • Leaves are often disfigured by nipple galls, which are wart-like projections about 4 mm in diameter and almost 6 mm high.  They are caused by the psyllid insect Pachypsylla dismamma, one of many jumping plant lice.  Blister galls, which are caused by Pachypsylla celtidisvesicula, are about 3-4 mm in diameter and only slightly raised above the leaf surface (Johnson and Lyon, 1991).
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 3      Native from Quebec to Manitoba, south to North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia and Oklahoma.
  • Hackberry: The "hack" apparently is a corruption of the Scottish "hag" (witch), however the "Hagberry" in Britain is the name given to sour bird cherries.  The application of that name to Celtis occidentalis was possibly a result of the early colonists confusion with regard to the small cherry-like appearance of its fruit (Peattie, 1953, 1966).
  • occidentalis: Latin meaning western (named by Linnaeus) in comparison with australis, southern.  Celtis australis is native to southern Europe, northern Africa, and into southwestern Asia.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • leaves


  • developing fruit

    developing fruit

  • fruit


  • fruit and nipple galls

    fruit and nipple galls

  • plant habit, fall

    plant habit, fall

  • leaves, fall

    leaves, fall

  • trunk, bark

    trunk, bark

  • branches, winter

    branches, winter

  • twigs and buds, winter

    twigs and buds, winter