Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - February 21, 2014

From: Georgetown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildlife Gardens, Trees
Title: Species of hackberry best for wildlife from Georgetown, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Which species of Hackberry tree is the best for wildlife in Georgetown, TX (just north of Austin)? Your Plant Database says Celtis occidentals is "among the BEST food and shelter plants for wildlife, but in your Q&A Database, Ive only seen the Celtis laevigata discussed for Central Texas. Is one species actually better than the other for wildlife? If both species would do well in our area, is there any problem with planting a few of each on the same 5 acres? Thank you!

ANSWER:

Okay, we can see how you got confused. Both Celtis occidentalis (Common hackberry) and Celtis laevigata (Sugar hackberry) are listed in our Native Plant Database with the common name "hackberry." You can follow the plant link to our webpage on each to learn their growing conditions, etc. On the webpage for Celtis occidentalis (Common hackberry), we found this line under Benefits:

"Use Wildlife: Hackberries are among the best food and shelter plants for wildlife. The fruit is relished by birds."

On the page for Celtis laevigata (Sugar hackberry), also under Benefits, was this line:

"Use Wildlife: At least 10 species of birds including robins, mockingbirds, and other songbirds eat the sweetish fruits."

This USDA Plant Profile Map shows that Celtis occidentalis (Common hackberry) is not native to Williamson County, but is native to Travis County and almost undoubtedly lives in Williamson County, too, but just has not been reported there. This USDA Plant Profile Map shows that Celtis laevigata (Sugar hackberry) does grow natively in Williamson County.

Take your pick.

 

From the Image Gallery


Common hackberry
Celtis occidentalis

Common hackberry
Celtis occidentalis

Common hackberry
Celtis occidentalis

Sugar hackberry
Celtis laevigata

Sugar hackberry
Celtis laevigata

Sugar hackberry
Celtis laevigata

More Wildlife Gardens Questions

Shade-loving plants for birds in New Jersey
March 25, 2013 - What native plants should I add to my property, Zone 6, to feed birds naturally? I have a heavily treed lot, so I'd like names of shade loving perennials. Seed or fruit bearing options would be gre...
view the full question and answer

Plants for no sun in Austin
May 12, 2010 - I need recommendations for shrubs that can withstand no sun, something that possibly blooms but does not attract bees, wasps, or any stinging insects (hummingbirds or butterflies ok).
view the full question and answer

Dead woody plants in wildlife garden in Austin
March 02, 2011 - I am an enthusiastic and pretty successful wildlife gardener, have studied my Wasowski "Bible", but I can't get any evergreens established in my yard! We live on blackland clay, which I amend with ...
view the full question and answer

Neighborhood association wanting wildflowers mowed from Grand Prairie TX
July 14, 2013 - For at least 15 years, I have been fostering growth of wildflowers in 60% of my 90x400' yard which include 150' utility trunkline easement in which I can plant no trees. This year, we had volunteer ...
view the full question and answer

Recommendations for native plants for Dallas Co., TX
May 12, 2007 - Looking for a Recommendation: Can you suggest a plant that meets the following requirements? ENVIRONMENT -- - I live in Garland, in Dallas County, TX. - The soil is primarily clay. - Full sun...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.