Hackberry Trees

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  1. Tent Caterpillers
  2. size of hackberry
  3. What to do about the fruit of the Chinese Hackberry?
Asked by stevie on March 30, 2012
Tent Caterpillers

Read the info you provided about the insect. I am a little confused when you say they are basically harmless. Back east where I come from, they defoliated huge areas. Now I am living in Az. in an area where we have never seen them before, but I am suddenly inundated with them. They seem to be everywhere in mass quantities. They are climbing the Hackberry trees, our primary source of shade. Is it likely they will defoliate them? If so, what can be done? Thanks in advance for any info.

ANSWERS
Heather
Certified GKH Gardening Expert

They can defoliate a tree, which is unsightly and annoying, but when we say that they are harmless, we mean that they don't often kill the tree.

The tent worm you are seeing in AZ is likely a different species than the one you saw back east (which would have been the Eastern Tent Worm). Yours in AZ at this time of year are likely Sonoran Tent Caterpillars.

You can try to stem them by locating and removing egg sacs from the tree. They will look like hard masses on the branches. You can also treat the worms with any pesticide that is effective on caterpillars.

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Asked by joegri on August 4, 2012
Size of Hackberry

Have to plant a new Hackberry. How large a tree in container can I/should I plant?

ANSWERS
Heather
Certified GKH Gardening Expert

When deciding how large of a tree to purchase, it is really a personal choice that is made after understanding the pros and cons of a younger (smaller) tree versus an older (larger) tree.

Smaller containers will have younger trees that are less expensive. Younger trees also have a better chance of surviving the shock of being transplanted. But they will take a bit longer to reach mature size.

Trees in larger containers are older. The look more impressive when first planted but they are more perceptible to shock. The older a plant, the more likely it is to go into shock when transplanted. Older trees are also more expensive because they need more care from the nursery.

I personally opt for younger trees. They catch up in size quickly and you are less likely to lose them to shock. But you should look at your own circumstances to decide what is best for you.

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Asked by Susan Pack on August 21, 2016
What to Do About the Fruit of the Chinese Hackberry?

We have large Chinese Hackberry trees and they drop massive amounts of their tiny berries on our lawn and garden which germinate and grow baby hackberries in our lawn and garden. Is there anything that I can use to keep them from fruiting? Is there anything like a pre-emergent that will keep the fruit from germinating?

ANSWERS
Alisma
Certified GKH Gardening Expert

There might be some hormone sprays available that would help prevent fruiting. Otherwise, changing the balance of fertilizers you give the tree might help: phosphorus fertilizers tend to promote fruiting. See these articles for more information:

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/trees/tgen/fruit-tree-sterilization.htm

http://www.mortonarb.org/trees-plants/tree-and-plant-advice/horticulture-care/preventing-or-reducing-fruit-ornamental-trees

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