Hackberry Nettle Tree Hoop Ash Sugar Berry
=Habitat and Range.=--In divers situations and soils; woods, river
banks, near salt marshes.
Province of Quebec to Lake of the Woods, occasional.
Maine,--not reported; New Hampshire,--sparingly along the Connecticut
valley, as far as Wells river; Vermont,--along Lake Champlain, not
common; Norwich and Windsor on the Connecticut (Eggleston);
Massachusetts,--occasional throughout the stat
; Rhode Island,--common
(Bailey); Connecticut,--common (J. N. Bishop).
South to the Gulf states; west to Minnesota and Missouri.
=Habit.=--A small or medium-sized tree, 20-45 feet high, with a trunk
diameter of 8 inches to 2 feet; attaining farther south a maximum of 100
feet in height, with a trunk diameter of 4-6 feet; variable; most
commonly the rough, straight trunk, sometimes buttressed at the base,
branches a few feet from the ground, sending out a few large limbs and
numerous slender, horizontal or slightly drooping and more or less
tortuous branches; head wide-spreading, flattish or often rounded, with
deep green foliage which lasts into late autumn with little change in
color, and with cherry-like fruit which holds on till the next spring.
=Bark.=--Bark of trunk in young trees grayish, rough, unbroken, in old
trees with deep, short ridges; main branches corrugated; secondary
branches close and even; branchlets pubescent; season's shoots
reddish-brown, often downy, more or less shining.
=Winter Buds and Leaves.=--Buds small, ovate, acute, scales chestnut
brown. Leaves simple, alternate, extremely variable in size, outline,
and texture, usually 2-4 inches long, two-thirds as wide, thin, deep
green, and scarcely rough above, more or less pubescent beneath, with
numerous and prominent veins, outline ovate to ovate-lanceolate, sharply
serrate above the lower third; apex usually narrowly and sharply
acuminate; base acutish, inequilateral, 3-nerved, entire; leafstalk
slender; stipules lanceolate, soon falling.
=Inflorescence.=--May. Appearing with the leaves from the axils of the
season's shoots, sterile and fertile flowers usually separate on the
same tree; flowers slender-stemmed, the sterile in clusters at the base
of the shoot, the fertile in the axils above, usually solitary; calyx
greenish, segments oblong; stamens 4-6, in the fertile flowers about the
length of the 4 lobes, in the sterile exserted; ovary with two long,
=Fruit.=--Drupes, on long slender stems, globular, about the size of the
fruit of the wild red cherry, purplish-red when ripe, thin-meated,
edible, lasting through the winter.
=Horticultural Value.=--Hardy throughout New England; grows in all
well-drained soils, but prefers a deep, rich, moist loam. Young trees
grow rather slowly and are more or less distorted, and trees of the same
age often vary considerably in size and habit; hence it is not a
desirable street tree, but it appears well in ornamental grounds. A
disease which seriously disfigures the tree is extending to New England,
and the leaves are sometimes attacked by insects. Occasionally offered
by nurserymen and easily transplanted.
1. Winter buds.
2. Flowering branch.
3. Sterile flower.
4. Fertile flower.
5. Fruiting branch.