Hackberry is a hardy, fast-growing, easy-to-plant deciduous tree that makes an attractive addition to your yard. There are many varieties of hackberry trees, including Common Hackberry, Southern Hackberry, European Hackberry and Chinese Hackberry.
Hackberry is related to the elm tree, and has a similar shape. The smooth, glossy leaves with toothed edges turn yellow in autumn. The dark purple, berry-like fruits of this tree will attract many species of birds to your property, and in some varieties they can be used for making jams, jellies and wines. Hackberry trees grow to an average height of about 50 feet, with a spread of 30 to 40 feet. One of the more unusual features of the hackberry tree is its bark. Mature trees feature rough, gray bark with a lumpy, cork-like texture.
Hackberry trees are quite tolerant of most soil and moisture conditions. They do quite well in drought, can withstand windy conditions and also do well in urban environments. They prefer full sun, so try to choose a nice, sunny spot for your new tree.
Begin by digging a hole two times wider than the root ball and just as deep. Loosen the roots gently with your hands, place the tree in the hole and backfill. No other soil amendments are necessary. Mulch around your new tree to retain moisture and control weeds, and water well.
The first week after you plant your tree, water it daily. After that, you can begin to water it less often. Once established, hackberry trees don not usually need any supplemental watering. In fact, you will not need to do much to keep your tree happy, apart from an occasional pruning to remove dead branches. It's best to do this pruning when your tree is dormant, in late fall or winter.
If you are looking for an attractive tree that will thrive in less-than-ideal growing conditions, a hackberry tree may be a good solution for you.
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