Hardiness: USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F) USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F) USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F) USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F) USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F) USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F) USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F) USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)
Sun Exposure: Full Sun Sun to Partial Shade Light Shade
Bloom Color: Inconspicuous/none
Bloom Time: Mid Spring
Other details: Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Soil pH requirements: 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral) 7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: From semi-hardwood cuttings From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
On May 21, 2013, h9kr4jg8ir5 from Spring, TX wrote:
I can't figure out why I'm getting dozens or hundreds of Sugar Hackberry seedlings sprouting up in my suburban Houston yard every year - 10 times as many as all other tree types combined. They comprise less than 1% of the trees in the natural forests around me. My first one sprung up about 6 years ago and it's now over 20 feet tall. Another one sprung up 4 years ago and it's nearly 15 feet tall. I'm on my way to having a Hackberry forest in my property. I like them so far. They're shady and they look like trees to me. I haven't seen any of the downsides yet. I guess I'd rather have Hackberry trees than turf grass.
On Jun 18, 2012, Sandwichkatexan from Copperas Cove, TX wrote:
In our part of the world these are known as trash trees. They pop up along fence lines forming dense thickets . They pop up in flowerbeds and are impossible to control without doing damage to desirable plants. Older specimens here look gangly and unkempt . The mature trees break and snap in strong winds, and they seem to like to look diseased and nasty everywhere they grow here . Maybe in another area they grow beautifully without these bad characteristics, but here in Central Texas they are truly ugly, messy ,Weedy, diseased looking trees They are everywhere here . I even see them coming up in the Extraco banks flowerbeds. Hopefully the bank will get rid of them because they are starting to get quite big. Every summer I spend about a week out of the month chopping down baby trees without trying to harm my plants in the flowerbeds . And every month after cutting they are the same height they were before I cut them down . Not really a invasive tree as much as it is a pest . I realize it is beneficial to wildlife but I wish it were much more attractive and less aggressive .
On Nov 16, 2006, Farmerdill from Augusta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:
It grows wild here also. It would not be a bad tree for yards except except that it is a magnet for the Asian Wooly Hackberry aphid. It is a very competitive tree with an intense network of long feeder roots. It is very detrimental close to a cultivated field. It also propogates like mad.
On Dec 25, 2004, TREEHUGR from Now in Orlando, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:
Attention Florida Gardeners!
The sugarberry is a must have tree for every yard. If you don't have one, you're missing out on a great tree that is native and growing in the wild, even way down in Miami-Dade County.
Not only is it a great shade tree, you'll love the fall (winter) color, yes even in Florida, the leaves turn a bright yellow, even in conditions that aren't ideal.
Wondering what the difference is between the northern Hackberry (c. occidentalis) and the southern hackberry/sugarberry (c. laevigata)? Well, the c. occidentalis occurs in dry upland sites most of the time, whereas the c. laevigata is typically found in wet sites. As far as appearance goes, I have a northern hackberry in my yard and I believe the leaves are somewhat wider and more jaggedy. And if the northern hackberry leaves feel like leather, the sugarberry leaves feel more like vinyl. In other words they don't feel as leathery.
The leaves are pretty distinctive and are "lopsided", although some of the wider leaves look a little like elm leaves to me but then again they are in the same family.
Generally when you read descriptions of the bark, it's described as having warts. The degree to which the warts are recognizable really does vary from tree to tree. Some have a lot and it's very recognizable and some don't. I am adding a couple pictures of the bark to make my point.
I'm also adding some photos of some of the best color I've seen since I moved to Florida.
There are other types of hackberries that are native to Florida. Celtis ehrenbergiana (Spiny / Desert Hackberry)
Celtis iguanaea (Iguana Hackberry)
These are endangered species and are normally found in the southwest counties of the state.
These trees can get big, up to 60-80 feet and are best in moist sites. The fruit berries are a food source to many, many types of birds. They have stood up to two hurricane direct hits in my area and they are not even leaning.
On Sep 30, 2003, TerriFlorida from Plant City, FL wrote:
Hackberry grows amazingly fast when young. I planted a sapling in 1990, and it was a 30' tree when we moved in 2001, with a substantial bole. These trees make wonderful light to medium shade when they get enough water.
The wood is a bit weak, similar to red maple (Acer rubrum) and should not be planted where they will overhang a house or a parking area. I never ate a hackberry fruit, the birds were always there first. This tree also has drooping branches when it has enough water, which made mowing under it before pruning up a bit of an adventure.
I will plant another one on our new property when I figure out where. I know of no higher praise for a large tree.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
Colony, Alabama Gravel Ridge, Arkansas Little Rock, Arkansas Morrilton, Arkansas Bartow, Florida Campbell, Florida Citra, Florida Keystone Heights, Florida Largo, Florida Ocoee, Florida Plant City, Florida Port Saint Lucie, Florida (2 reports) South Daytona, Florida Augusta, Georgia New Orleans, Louisiana Blue Ash, Ohio Brickerville, Pennsylvania Bolivar, Tennessee Memphis, Tennessee Austin, Texas (2 reports) Brownsville, Texas Copperas Cove, Texas Dalworthington Gardens, Texas Hondo, Texas Mckinney, Texas Pecan Grove, Texas San Antonio, Texas Shenandoah, Texas