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The northern hackberry, a medium-to-large deciduous tree that often grows up to 60 feet tall is considered part of the hemp family. The tiny, inconspicuous flowers open at the same time that the leaves appear in early spring. The long-pointed, lopsided, serrated leaves have three main veins radiating from the base. The small half-inch berries are ripe in the fall, persistent in the winter, and avidly consumed by birds. The mature bark has distinctive warty growths that can form attractive rough ridges. The hackberry is common in flood plains and along streams, but it is also drought tolerant and can grow in sandy soils. It is very suitable for landscaping and as a street tree. Although commercially unimportant, hackberries provide valuable wildlife habitats.

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