Spotlight on Species – Hackberry
Hackberry is a North American Shade Tree which thrives on the high plains. It is tolerant of harsh climatic conditions as well as urban abuse. It’s deep-rooted roots rarely lift sidewalks, so is a good choice for tree-lawns. It reaches a height of 45′ and spread of 35′ and has yellow fall color. This tree is highly tolerant of alkaline soils. In Gering and Scottsbluff, Nebraska they use this tree in abundance because of the high soil alkalinity there, which is much higher than here in Cheyenne. In the Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, Michael Dirr says its a good tree for plains and prairie states because it performs admirably under adverse conditions; good for park and large area use; has the innate ability to grow in dry soils and under windy conditions. This tree bears fruit and it is loved by birds and wildlife.
The Missouri Botanical Gardens list some problems this tree may have although mostly cosmetic and it doesn’t effect the overall health of the tree. Problems associated with this tree are: Hackberry nipple gall. Although the galls do not hurt the tree, they often significantly disfigure the leaves. Witches’ broom (dwarfed, dense, contorted twig clusters at the branch ends) is also somewhat common. It also does little harm to the tree, but can be quite unsightly. Powdery mildew, leaf spot and root rot may occur. Watch for lacebugs and scale.
This tree is native to most of North America leaving out the extreme western United States and Canada.
Although the name of this tree might not seem so pleasing this is a great tree for our area especially in the right-of-way. This tree can be found in both Lions and Holliday Park, around the Wyoming Supreme Court along Central Ave. and it is being used more in our downtown area. Some of the largest Hackberry within the city are found along Seymour Ave. across from the cemetery.