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Common Name:

Sugar Hackberry or Southern Hackberry

Scientific Name:

Celtis laevigata

Family Name:



Sugar Hackberry is a large deciduous tree that is native to Texas. It is frequently found in mixed to pure stands in abandoned fields where it is a colonizer. If large specimens are present on a site, then they may be worth preserving, but Sugar Hackberry is seldom planted as other trees with more ornamental value are available. The silver-gray bark with warty protrusions is mildly attractive.

Plant Habit or Use:

Medium tree, large tree



Flower Color:

Greenish, hardly noticeable

Blooming Period:


Fruit Characteristics:

Small 1/4 inch blue-black drupe with a hard nut-like seed inside; favorite of birds, but has cathartic properties


40 ft to 60 ft (90 ft possible in bottomlands)


30 ft to 50 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Low Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Low Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: Medium Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Tough durable tree, one or more close relatives to Sugar Hackberry are native to almost all regions of Texas.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.