Hackberry tree Facts

Hackberry tree Facts
Hackberry tree, also known as sugarberry, is deciduous tree that belongs to the hemp family. There are 60 to 70 species of hackberry that can be found in temperate climate around the world. People often confuse hackberry with elm due to similarities in the shape and size of these two species. Hackberry tree grows in mixed deciduous forests, in the seasonally flooded plains, on the slopes and rocky hillsides. Some species of hackberry tree are adapted to the life in arid, desert conditions. People like to plant hackberry tree in the gardens, parks and backyards because it tolerates drought and pollution of the air and provides shade.
Interesting Hackberry tree Facts:
Hackberry tree usually grows 30 to 50 feet in height, but it can reach 100 feet under optimal conditions.
Hackberry tree produces drooping branches. Shape of the crown depends on the habitat. Narrow, cylindrical crown can be seen in the forests. Broad, rounded crown is typical for open areas. Bark of hackberry tree is light grey, covered with ridges and wart-like projections.
Hackberry tree develops ovate or lanceolate leaves. They have asymmetric base, pointed tips and serrated edges. Texture of leaves can be smooth or rough. Leaves are alternately arranged on the branches.
Hackberry tree blooms from April to May. It produces greenish, inconspicuous flowers arranged in drooping clusters.
Hackberry tree is monoecious plant which means that it produces individual male and female flowers on the same tree. Flowers are rich source of nectar which attracts bees, main pollinators of this plant.
Fruit of hackberry tree is pea-sized drupe that looks like berry. Ripe fruit is available in September and October and it can be recognized by dark purple color and sweet, dates-like taste. Fruit contains one seed.
Hackberry tree is important source of food for the forest animals. Deer feed on foliage, while birds and small mammals like to eat fruit.
Humans can also eat fruit of hackberry tree. Fruit can be consumed fresh or in the form of jam. It is also used as seasoning for meat and as an ingredient for bread.
Hackberry tree has soft wood that is used as firewood and for the manufacture of fence posts, cheap furniture, plywood and boxes.
Hackberry tree is often planted on the river banks to prevent flooding and erosion of soil.
Hackberry tree can be cultivated as bonsai.
Native Americans consumed fruit of hackberry tree in the form of porridge (mixed with corn and animal fat) and used it as a flavoring agent.
Native Americans used bark of hackberry tree to treat sore throat, menstrual irregularities and venereal diseases.
Native Americans used hackberry tree as a source of fuel for starting and maintaining of fire in the altars during various ceremonies.
Hackberry tree can survive from 150 to 200 years in the wild.

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