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General Description
Tree & Wood Descriptions for: Celtis occidentalis

Product Sources

Some timber from this species is reported to be available from sustainably managed, salvaged, recycled, or other environmentally responsible sources.

Hackberry is reported to be available in large quantities in the form of lumber and quartered, sliced, or rotary cut veneers. The wood is reported to resemble Ash and Elm, and is often sold with lower grade material from the two species. Hackbery is too weak and relatively scarce in commercial volumes to be used for building construction. Price is reported to be usually within the medium to expensive range.

Tree Data

The tree is reported to be usually small growing to a height of about 30 to 50 feet (9 to15 m), and a trunk diameter of 18 to 36 inches (50 to 90 cm). Heights of 130 feet (40 m) and trunk diameters of 24 to 36 inches (60 to 90 cm ) have also been recorded.

Sapwood Color

The wide sapwood, which is usually discolored with blue sap-stain, is pale yellow to grayish or greenish yellow.

Heartwood Color

The heartwood is yellowish gray to light brown with yellow streaks. The wood is reported to resemble Ash and Elm, and is often sold with lower grade material from the two species.


The grain is usually straight, occasionally interlocked.


The wood is coarse textured.


There is no detectable odor or taste.

Movement in Service

Seasoned timber is reported to have moderate dimensional stability, and tends to show medium movement after manufacture.

Natural Durability

The species is reported to have little or no resistance to attack by fungi or other wood destroying organisms. It is prone to blue sap stain, and susceptible to attack by insects, especially forest longhorn and buprestid beetles.

Resistance to Impregnation

The heartwood is resistant to impregnation. The sapwood is permeable.

Strength Properties

Bending strength of air-dried wood is high. Maximum crushing strength, or compression strength parallel to grain, is low. It is moderately hard and heavy.