This particular Hackberry tree is growing on the side of an embankment. Look for Hackberry trees both on rocky hillsides and in flood plains. You don't see stands of Hackberry trees, only a loner here and there in a mixed forest. You might see one in the city where they are popular due to their ability to provide shade while withstanding drought and pollution. This tree of the genus Celtis is also called a Nettle Tree or a Sugar Berry. It may have sweet fruit, but the fruit is not a berry. It is a drupe. What's a drupe? Think of a peach with a “stone” in the center surrounded by fleshy goodness and a skin. That's a drupe. The drupes ripen in September or October and are eaten by birds, humans, and other mammals. Make jam. Put 'em in your porridge. Bake 'em in bread. Deer and some butterflies, such as the Question Mark, Red-Spotted Purple, and the Mourning Cloak eat the foliage.
Let's see. What else? The wood of the Hackberry does not
have much of an economic value. It is sometimes used for firewood or producing boxes or cheap furniture. My favorite part is the corky, worty bark. Native Americans used it as a medicine to help relieve sore throats and menstrual problems. Put your hands on the tree and feel it's simple outdoorsy energy. I was born under the sign of the Hackberry tree according to the Druid Calendar. This allows me the dedication and vision I need in order to achieve my goals which in turn results in pride of my accomplishments.
Once the word gets out that the Hackberry is now included in the ever expanding Hemp family, Cannabaceae, maybe this frequently overlooked tree will gain more popularity!