American hackberry

Celtis occidentalis

American hackberry

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.

Other Common names

Common hackberry, sugarberry

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.

View Physical & Mechanical Properties

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.

American hackberry - Physical & Mechanical Properties

Specific Gravity (12% M.C.):0.53
Average Weight (12% M.C.):593 kg/m3
Average Volume Shrinkage (Green to 6% M.C.):13.50%
Modulus of Rupture:76.535 MPa
Modulus of Elasticity:8205 MPa
Compressive strength (parallel to grain):
37.509 MPa
Hardness:3914 N
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View Working Properties

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.

American hackberry - Working Properties

SawingGood
PlaningGood
DrillingGood
BoringGood
TurningGood
Carving
Good
Moulding
Good
Nailing
Fair
Screwing
Fair
Gluing
Good
Finishing
Good
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View Main Uses

Main Uses

Furniture and kitchen cabinets, joinery, doors and mouldings.

American hackberry - Main Uses

Doors
Flooring
Furniture
Joinery
Kitchen cabinets
Mouldings and
turnings
Veneered panels
Sports goods

Tool handles

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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).

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