Leaf Identification

The leaves of the Common Hackberry are ovate shaped with serrated margins, and the venation is pinnate. Typically about 2″ to 5″ long, the leaves have an acuminate tip and an uneven base. They can be pubescent. They are usually a light green color but turn yellow in the fall.

Twig and Bud Identification

The twig of the Common Hackberry is typically zig zag, reddish-brown, and have lighter lenticels. The buds tend to be appressed, triangular, and tan. It lacks a true terminal bud, but it does have a pseudoterminal bud. The pith is chambered at the nodes.

Bark Identification

The Common Hackberry has distintive corky bark. These “corks” have been described in many ways including pancake stacks and a cell’s endoplasmic reticulum, but every tree lover has their own comparison to remember these lovable plant and other relatives. Older trees usually form corky ridges and furrows.

Fruit Identification

The fruit of the Common Hackberry are round drupes that each contain one seed. It is green then orangish-red but matures to dark purple. They are edible.

Flower Identification

The Common Hackberry’s flowers are very small. Usually only about 1/8″ long. They are light green and are produced on stalks at the leaf axils. They can produce perfect flowers, but if not, male flowers are in clusters while female flowers are solitary.

[photo forthcoming]