American hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)

Different hackberry species are found throughout the world. This one is an American variety, native to the eastern U.S. and Canada. It was purchased May, 2013 from Kuma Bonsai, San Diego. The fruits of this tree are edible and nutritious. They were an important food item for native Americans.

I first posted this tree on this blog February 6, 2019. In the year and a half since then, I have been working on widening the trunk and root base and increasing the branch ramification.

November 22, 2020:
The tree today. As in most years, it lost most of its leaves in mid-summer and now is in a second flush before I expect it will loose all leaves later this winter.
January 5, 2019:
The tree when first posted to this website.
May 25, 2013:
The tree shortly after purchase.
January 10, 2014:
I believe the base of the tree had root-grafts when I bought it. Unfortunately, I did not pay enough attention to maintaining these and they all eventually died back.

January 10, 2014:
Good start on nebari during first repotting.
February 22, 2014:
Originally this was the front side.
February 22, 2014:
Originally this was the back side because of the exposed trunk chops, but as they healed I decided the nebari had developed better on this side.
April 3, 2014:
Another option for a front would be to take advantage of the movement due to the trunk chop and new leader.
July 11, 2015:
The tree after two years. The first several years the tree lost leaves in early summer and had a second flush in mid-summer. I think this was because I didn’t water enough in spring.
August 1, 2015:
The second flush of leaves.
December 21, 2015:
The tree at the end of the year.
March 12, 2016:
May 27, 2016:
Repotted tree in spring.
August 20, 2016:
Summer wiring.
April 29, 2017:
Spring growth.

July 7, 2017:

July 7, 2017:
Leaf die-back in July. Its sudden occurrence indicated it was probably under-watered.
July 16, 2017:
Pruned and rewired, new growth.
November 5, 2017:
Good growth over the summer.
November 5, 2017:
November 5, 2017:
Partially wired.
February 17, 2018:
Tree in winter.
February 17, 2018:
Large root mass.
February 17, 2018:
Reduction of root mass.
February 17, 2018:
Tree in a new pot.
June 30, 2018:
Spring-summer leaf growth after repotting.
May 22, 2019:
The tree in spring a year and a half ago with sacrifice branches to thicken the trunk and nebari.
March 7, 2020:
The tree the following spring.
May 24, 2020:
Two months later.
August 9, 2020:
I removed the leaves from the main tree, which were already yellowing and dropping during mid-summer. I left the leaves on the sacrifice branches.
September 7, 2020:
Sacrifice branches removed as the tree began leafing out for fall.
October 6, 2020:
Second flush of new growth for the year.
November 22, 2020:
The tree today from the opposite side.


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