Not sure why you’d eradicate them. Elsewhere they are Hackberries. All rights reserved. Learn how your comment data is processed. Hackberry trees are considered junk trees in the area I live in. Bob, I hope you’re safe and well and eating the weeds. Inside the stone is a kernel. We call sweetgum trees sweet gums. Sweetgum trees are native, unlike Bradford Pears. Hackberry and Sugarberry are host plants for Tawny Emperor, Hackberry Emperor, American Snout, and Question Mark butterflies as well as several moths. [6], Sugarberry mixed with hackberry supplies the lumber known as hackberry. Uses Conservation: Sugarberry is used in native landscaping and habitat restorations, and windbreaks. In spring, small, stalked, light green flowers mature. Like the Bradford Pear, there should be a Sweet Gum Eradification Society to keep this tree in check! Perhaps natives everywhere trimmed the tree short and husbanded it. You’ll often find a stand of them near rivers. The spiked balls they shed in the autumn make them also a nuisance if they happen to be in or near your yard. Our arborist said it is also known as an anacua or anaqua tree. Thanks for a great post, Green Deane! My neighbor refers to it as “the jungle” which I see as a compliment. The stone can be eaten raw and they also store well in oil. Positive: On Mar 4, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote: Sugar Hackberry, is Native to Central and East Texas, and provides food for many species of wildlife. Sugarberry occurs primarily along streams and in moist soils on floodplains. Sam Thayer’s book, “Nature’s Garden: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants,” has a nicely written chapter, “Hackberry/Sugarberry,” pages 123-134. Texas sugarberry, sugar hackberry, hackberry, palo blanco, southern hackberry, and lowland hackberry . Based on what you said about the leaf litter, it makes a lot of sense. 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T61987968A61987970.en, Southern Research Station (, U.S. Forest Service Management Considerations for Celtis laevigata,, Trees of the Great Lakes region (North America), Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 12 October 2020, at 21:55. Honestly, that’s an exaggeration. The tree I mentioned is called by botanists and non-botanist as either Hackberry or Sugarberry. Sugarberries are not hackberries, although they are both Celtis. Sugarberries like to be near water and that’s why it caught my eye as I coasted by: It was growing on top of a dry hill. Sounds delicious! The berries are small, sparse, and usually way out of reach. The entire berry is high in calcium, can be up to 20% protein, and has a good amount of phosphorus as well. Last week I cut down dozens or sugarberries and mulberries that were growing within 5 or 10′ of a giant black walnut tree, where many plants won’t. METHOD OF PREPARATION: Ripe fruit pulp raw or cooked. At times there is a market for them in railroad ties but beyond that, they are useless except for firewood. Personally I use my teeth. Sugarberry has narrower leaves which are smoother above. They are a nuisance. I just got around to making jelly from it, and it’s delicious. Rather, it has been used as a substitute for red oak, ash or elm. It is interesting that English speakers would refer to the tree as the Sugarberry and the Greeks, a world and language away, call their tree, the C. australis, the Honeyberry. Copyright 2007-2018 – This web page is the property of Green Deane, LLC. They tend to rot quickly. Most hackberries like highlands, the sugarberry the low lands. Photo by Green Deane. We have an enourmous sugarberry tree. This is a trail side nibble when in reach. The light-colored wood can be given a light- to medium-brown finish that in other woods must be achieved by bleaching. Current guess is that it is a “Japanese Sugarberry.”. Lived in the south my entire life. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Disclaimer: Information contained on this website is strictly and categorically intended as a reference to be used in conjunction with experts in your area. However, the Native Americans had a different idea. Sugarberries also seem to be very juglone tolerant. That’s why I was wanting to grind them up, so that I could eat more of them without damaging my teeth. These are probably not called Hackberry in the South because there’s another tree we call Hackberry, which has small spiky “balls” that fall off the tree and hurt your feet when barefooted. They are not good for anything else that I have ever seen. It’s funny how the miracle plant of one era is a nuisance a short while later. Grandfather had a sawmill, and now I run it. Foraging should never begin without the guidance and approval of a local plant specialist. Honestly, that’s an exaggeration. Dwarf Hackberry is a deciduous tree that may grow 20 to 30 feet tall. 1971. The bees love the tree. They are now also available on USBs. A motar and pestale works well as does a coarse grain mill. The term “deciduous” makes reference to that as it means “tending to fall off” or “falling off at maturity”. I really appreciate all the information you put together. Clearly the dry sweetness impresses people. They are big trees that can grow to 100 feet. The berry is just about the same size as chokecherry but the stone is larger. I use my teeth, too. Flowers greenish-yellow in spring. The bark is gray and smooth with small warts. I want to plant some, and try pruning them to make harvest easier. Small amounts are used for dimension stock, veneer, and containers, but the main use of sugarberry wood is for furniture. Celtis laevigata is a medium-sized tree native to North America.Common names include sugarberry, Southern hackberry, or in the southern U.S. sugar hackberry or just hackberry.. Sugarberry is easily confused with common hackberry (C. occidentalis) where the range overlaps.Sugarberry has narrower leaves which are smoother above. Hackberries are Celtis occidentalis, not Celtis laevigata. Homer, the 900 BCE blind poet of ancient stories that shaped the Greek culture, spoke of them. The inner kernel was considered a delicacy and the outer shell was ground up and used as a spice, usually on meat. Especially, if they fall on a hillside. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. This surgarberry was environmentally out of place. I picked some berries this summer and froze them. I just read on another site that Celtis australis leaves are eaten. Setting aside these negatives, the trees are beautiful trees and the leaves turn a rusty deep red in the autumn. Sugarberry is a synonym of hackberry. A grain mill? They are quite fragile. The berries are enjoyed by birds but felt to be too much trouble (and too small) to be of much value with regard to eating. I’m surprised to hear it is considered a nuisance tree by some. These are also sold for railroad ties. He describes how to make a milk from the kernels. [7] The wood is also used to produce sporting goods and plywood.[8]. Sugarberries is not a term commonly used in locally to describe this tree. Appreciate your research into the word origin of “hackberry,” Green Deane. They also rot quickly once upon the ground. Gray bark has patches of corky warts. The Sugarberry does not. Don’t confuse the Sugarberry with the Toothache Tree which has very aromatic, medicine-smelling leaves and thorns. Some would grind up the entire berry, stone, kernel and all, and make a paste out of it, either to bake in a fire or to add with fat and parched corn to make a gruel. Sugarberries — Celtis laevigata  (SELL-tiss lee-vih-GAY-tuh )– like moisture. Thanks for some insight. Sugarberry's range extends from the Eastern United States west to Texas and south to northeastern Mexico. it is also host to the Mourning Cloak, Tawny Emperor, and Hackberry Emperor butterflies, along with several other species of insects. Leaves turn yellow in the fall. It is a moderately long-lived hardwood with a light-colored wood, yellowish gray to light brown with yellow streaks.. They are pretty hard here, however, and I wouldn’t doubt that they could chip a tooth. Our neighbor keeps bees and their honey definitely tastes of the tree, which is fun! The small tree produces an orange … Then they lightly dried the kernel and cracked it. . This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Ethnobotanic: Sugarberry was used by a variety of Native American tribes. I had seen such a thing once before with a sugarberry and you have to figure out why. I even had a Mexican cucumber and many plantagos make their way to my yard last summer and I’m very much hoping it returns because I love them. 83-89. They grow quickly and starve out the sunlight of other more useful trees like poplar, hickory, oak and walnut. Does anyone use any part of this tree medicinally or for tinctures? Details are in my weekly newsletter. I love these fruit. Stone and inner kernel raw or cooked, stone shell ground up as seasoning, kernel roasted as a delicacy, entire berry pulp and seed crushed and cooked. Sweet Gum trees grow quickly and reach heights of 150 ft. or more. Sugarberry leaves have three main veins at the base. The last time I found a stand out of place they were growing near an irrigation canal. While the C. laevigata is the common species in the lower half of the United States, there are several species, many of them edible, and found throughout North American and the world. They have been praised since ancient times. My natural history professor told that it was good at suppressing coughs, or “hacks.” Likely an assumption on his part. It is simply good form to do so, and safe foraging. I mostly have vining plants. I have numerous trees growing in my yard and they make it hazardous to walk. And at Emerson Point Preserve, Palmetto, Fl.,  there is a “sugarberry” with teeth on the leaves. They mentioned that it is commonly mistaken for hackberry, but not the same thing. M.A.K. It is well-adapted to urban areas; its elm-like shape and warty bark make it an attractive landscape tree. Sugarberry; Beavertree; American hackberry; Northern hackberry; Whatever name you choose for it, this tree is a large deciduous tree. Celtis laevigata is a medium-sized tree native to North America. The tree was near a large, long-term business and daily watering was enough to make it think it was living in a wetter spot. I am in Texas and have eaten quite a few of our common variety, which I believe is the C. laevigata. Not many are seen at the highest elevations but they grow profusely on plateaus of 1000 to 1500 ft elevation. There was a swale nearby but on the top of the hill it was more for aesthetic reasons than practical. The species can also be distinguished by habitat: where the ranges overlap, common hackberry occurs primarily in upland areas, whereas sugarberry occurs mainly in bottomland areas. Don’t know what the official name is. They are sweet and delicious but a huge amount of work would be involved to get even a cup of them. That word came via Scottish from the names of some northern Scandinavia cherry trees that mean hag, or old woman. It is extremely windproof, surviving both hurricanes and tornadoes, so a great tree for “tornado alley” where I live. Hackberry is a lumber species that does not stand on its own too often. Branches droop. Oh, It is a common host for mistletoe, is a good candidate for bonsai, and like the black walnut its leaf litter discourage growth of other plants. Part of my approach to plants is to answer the questions raised by I.T.E.M., Identification, Time of year, Environment, and Method of Preparation. This time there was no canal. I have never met a person that called a sweet gum a hackberry, nor have I met more than 5 people to ever use the term sugarberry. The Sugarberry was struggling with two Black Cherries for one spot, and winning. He said one taste of the hackberry in a foreign land was enough to make a man never want go home again. This tree can grow practically anywhere. That warty bark is one of its identifying characteristics (and in the southwest of North America some hackberries also have thorns.) You, or what publication you have, might make the distinction other people and or publications do not. It’s wonderful to know more about my own backyard. The history and nutrition of this genus is the most interesting of all to me. Comments or questions about this site, or for permission to use photos and information. I have many hackberries. How the tree got its name is a bit of a story. My guess is because the bark of the species is usually warty in patches it might have reminded folk of an old face in olden times. They are sweet and delicious but a huge amount of work would be involved to get even a cup of  them. Sugarberry's leaf litter contains allelopathic chemicals that inhibit seed germination and growth in many other plant species. [2] It is also found on the island of Bermuda.[3]. Check out the species nearest you. And only then if they are burned within the same year they are cut. Often, they may be the largest trees in the forest. How the name of cherry trees got to be associated with the Celtis is anyone guess, though the fruit do resemble choke cherries and the tree is considered by some to be a ‘witch” tree. ENVIRONMENT: Likes full sun and prefers moist rich soil. The pulp around the stone is about 10 times thicker than the pulp on a cabbage palm berry which is paint thin, so think ten layers of paint… read not a lot. . They have the rough bark you described and the same leaf pattern. I think they’re really nice trees. 2, pg. Fruit a green berry turning to orange, red or dark purple. As nouns the difference between sugarberry and hackberry is that sugarberry is hackberry while hackberry is any of several small shrubs or trees of the genus celtis , of north america, having small fruit. 98, No. What you call “hackberry” is usually called by southerners Sweet Gum. Vol. It is an excellent source of wildlife food throughout fall and into the winter. What would you recommend using to grind up Sugarberries? It also has a high amount of fat and fiber. They also grow profusely from sprouts and it becomes a never ending battle to keep them from taking over. IDENTIFICATION: Leaves  alternate along the stem, medium to dark green, 2 to 4″ twice as long as wide, oval,  serrated only on upper half of leaf,  asymmetrical (lop-sided) three prominent veins, leaf spots and galls common, wigs zig-zaggy. It is also a great tree for coppicing for firewood, and in a coppiced form the fruit is more easily harvested. Perhaps natives everywhere trimmed the tree short and husbanded it. Celtis occidentalis, commonly known as the common hackberry, is a large deciduous tree native to North America. Common names include sugarberry, Southern hackberry, or in the southern U.S. sugar hackberry or just hackberry. Then I saw the lawn irrigation head nearby. Deciduous trees and shrubs are those that shed their leaves, usually in the fall. Others removed the pulp, eating that separately. My videos have been available on DVDs for seven years. It is also known as the nettletree, sugarberry, beaverwood, northern hackberry, and American hackberry. Of course hackberries and sugarberries are not really berries. Do you know anything about this being true and also if it is true with species native to America? He said one taste of the hackberry in a foreign land was enough to make a man never want go home again. Commmon names are used loosely. Only in the South are they called Sugarberries. The spiked balls of a sweet gum tree can roll beneath your feet and cause you to have a nasty fall. We call hackberry trees sweetgums. Celtis is the ancient Greek name for a lotus with sweet berries, and was used by Pliny. They are drupes. If you’ve ever had one growing in your yard, you would understand. [5] The leaves are eaten by a number of insects, for example caterpillars of the Io moth (Automeris io). Sugarberry is easily confused with common hackberry (C. occidentalis) where the range overlaps. The providers of this website accept no liability for the use or misuse of information contained in this website. Probably a bird dropped a seed while visiting a young cherry and the rest is botanical history. Allelopathic effects of Celtis laevigata. I have many sugarberry trees in my yard. Sugarberry; Sugar Hackberry; Upland Hackberry; Phonetic Spelling SEL-tis ten-yoo-ih-FOH-lee-uh Description. Its sweetish fruit is eaten by birds and rodents,[4] helping to disperse the seeds. Corinna, greeting from another resident of tornado alley! I live in southern Illinois and I have tried about 20 trees within 2-3 miles from my house and they feel like they will break your teeth so I planted some Celtis australis and they are much better than my locals. I planted some milkweed and have seen butterflies but it hasn’t occurred to me that perhaps they are coming for the trees! Can the hackberry be tapped for syrup? Always described as a hackberry. A mortar and pestle? That’s the first time I ever heard that. Lodhi, E.L. Rice. Sugarberry is frequently planted as a shade-tree within its range. Laevigata means smooth, and most of the sugarberry’s bark is smooth but there are always tell-tale corky warts, without thorns. Just curious and hoping to find something I can tap just for fun. Near creeks or on hillsides. ADVERTISEMENT . If you can’t satisfactorily answer them all then you might have the wrong plant. The leaves are alternate with a smooth or toothed margin and asymmetrical base. Sugarberries, called hackberries outside of the South, were prized among people everywhere, New World and Old, though I don’t see how. I have many pecans and hackberries shading my yard.