Hackberries: Wildlife Provider

robin in hackberry tree

This robin has found a meal and shelter in a Hackberry tree. Photo by Dan Rauch, Wildlife Biologist, District of Columbia

 Hackberries – The Celtis species are not anywhere near as important as the oaks in providing food for birds and other wildlife. But they have a few specific, mostly butterfly species that makes them one of my favorites. In our region, the Hackberry Emperor, Tawny Emperor, and Snout butterflies are among the 43 species the genus is known to host. The trees also supply ‘sugar berries’ as food for birds (24 species being documented). C. occidentalis is our common tree species (C, tenuifolia is a shrub species also found around here). Hackberries tend to grow in riparian areas and can take some wet and salty conditions. They normally grow 30-50 feet tall but can get up to 100.

Read about the role of oaks in feeding wildlife from Arlington County Parks’ Naturalis, Alonso Abugattus

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2 Responses to Hackberries: Wildlife Provider

  1. Paula Bee says:

    Hmmmm. Is that really a hackberry tree?

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