This large tree is near the center of the Bishop's Common on the north side of the sidewalk that crosses the Common diagonally. This is only the third largest hackberry in the arboretum overall, but it is noteworthy in that it has an impressive crown spread of 28 m (91 ft.). Its spread was probably once much larger before it lost one of its major branches.
have somewhat uneven leaf bases, a characteristic they share with other members of the elm family. Unlike elms, they have single teeth or no teeth at all. As their name suggests, hackberry fruits
are fleshy berries, in contrast to the dry, winged seeds
of elms. Perhaps the most noticeable characteristic of hackberries is their bark
. Overall, they tend to have smooth bark, similar to beech bark
. However, hackberry bark
nearly always few to many corky lumps scattered throughout the smooth bark, which is rarely the case with beech.
It is not always possible to assign hackberries to a particular species because they hybridize and can have intermediate characteristics. However, this tree has characteristics typical of Northern hackberry (Celtis occidentalis
). Northern hackberry leaves
are broader and more toothed than the leaves of southern hackberry
). The fruit of northern hackberry is dark red or blackish when mature, in contrast to the more orange-red fruit of southern hackberry
. Northern hackberry also has the smooth bark
with lumps similar to that of southern hackberry.
It is more typical around Nashville to find hackberries displaying the C. laevigata
characteristics because we are near the southern edge of C. occidentalis
. But as this tree illustrates, C. occidentalis
types can be found in this area.