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Celtis laevigata

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Sugarberry (Celtis laevigata) at Alsip Home and Nursery



(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Sugarberry (Celtis laevigata) at Alsip Home and Nursery

Sugarberry foliage

Sugarberry foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

* This is a "special order" plant - contact store for details

Height:  80 feet

Spread:  80 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  5

Other Names:  Sugar Hackberry, Southern Hackberry


One of the toughest of shade trees while maintaining an attractive and neat habit of growth; interesting warty bark, looks quite beautiful with age; tolerant of almost any growing conditions except standing water

Ornamental Features

Sugarberry is primarily grown for its highly ornamental fruit. The fruits are showy purple drupes carried in abundance in early fall. The fruit can be messy if allowed to drop on the lawn or walkways, and may require occasional clean-up. It has green foliage throughout the season. The pointy leaves turn buttery yellow in fall. The flowers are not ornamentally significant. The warty gray bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape.

Landscape Attributes

Sugarberry is a deciduous tree with a more or less rounded form. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other landscape plants with finer foliage.

This tree will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Insects

Sugarberry is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Shade

Planting & Growing

Sugarberry will grow to be about 80 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 80 feet. It has a high canopy with a typical clearance of 7 feet from the ground, and should not be planted underneath power lines. As it matures, the lower branches of this tree can be strategically removed to create a high enough canopy to support unobstructed human traffic underneath. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 80 years or more.

This tree should only be grown in full sunlight. It is an amazingly adaptable plant, tolerating both dry conditions and even some standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for xeriscaping or the moisture-conserving landscape. It is not particular as to soil type or pH, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is native to parts of North America.


* This is a "special order" plant - contact store for details

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Fruit  Bark  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features