Celtis occidentalis L.  – Cannabaceae – hemp family

Hackberry is an uncommon street tree in Albion.  The specimens we have seen are on Michigan Avenue near the former site of the David’s Cleaner World and near the west end of West Chestnut Street.  Several trees are planted on the Albion College campus.

This native species is distinctive in having numerous, layered, irregularly-positioned corky ridges on the bark of its trunk.  Although it is called a hackberry, the fruits are not berries. They each have a single hard stone, a pit, which contains the single seed, like a cherry or peach.  A botanist calls this type of fruit a drupe.  Berries usually contain many seeds that are not covered by a hard inner fruit wall like the “stones” or “pits” of drupes.