Botanical name: Celtis occidentalis

Common/commercial names: Common hackberry


Distribution & Availability

Throughout Eastern USA, although not available in large commercial volumes. There is some export of lumber, mainly in thinner stock and availability of higher grades may be limited.

General Description

Hackberry is closely related to sugarberry (Celtis laevigata) and is a member of the elm family. There is little difference between sapwood and heartwood, which is yellowish grey to light brown with yellow streaks. The wood has irregular grain, occasionally straight and sometimes interlocked, with a fine uniform texture.

Physical & Mechanical Properties

Hackberry is moderately hard, heavy and has medium bending strength, high shock resistance but is low in stiffness. It has a good steam bending classification

Working Properties

The wood planes and turns well and is intermediate in its ability to hold nails and screws, and stains and polishes satisfactorily. Hackberry dries readily with minimal degrade. It has a fairly high shrinkage and may be susceptible to movement in performance.


Non-resistant to heartwood decay. The heartwood is moderately resistant to preservative treatment, but the sapwood is permeable.

Main Uses

Furniture and kitchen cabinets, joinery, doors and mouldings.

Other Information

Sometimes referred to as sugarberry and used as an ash substitute. Can be susceptible to blue stain before and after kilning, so lumber purchased in USA will tend to be surfaced (planed).


Ash Aspen Beech Birch Cherry Cottonwood Gum Hackberry Hickory & Pecan Hard maple Soft maple Red oak White oak Sycamore Tulipwood/Yellow poplar Walnut