Celtis occidentalis

Hackberry

 

The border of Crossgates Golf Course and Millersville University, Millersville PA

 

John Ambler

 

According to Champion Trees of Pennsylvania (pabigtrees.com), this tree had a trunk circumference of 185 inches in 2018, a spread of 93 feet, and an impressive height of 103 feet.  As such, it can perhaps be considered the co-champion Hackberry for the state of Pennsylvania. 

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Some people follow the 3 x 3 Rule when deciding whether two trees are co-champions.  Under this rule, co-champions are designated if (a) their measurement point total is less than 100 and within 3 of each other; or (b) their point total is more than 100 and within 3% of each other.   A Bucks County Hackberry has a point total of 320, while the Millersville tree's total is 311.  Our tree, then, just barely quali- fies as state co-champion.

 

The nipple gall that often forms on lower leaf surfaces is a distinguishing characteristic of Hackberries and is caused by the jumping plant louse (psyllids). 

 

This amazing species is the only host plant for the Hackberry Emperor But- terfly, which itself is unusual because it rarely visits flowers.

 

[The tree photos are from pabigtrees. com]