Hackberry is a tree with an elm-like form and is, in fact, related to the elm. It is a forgiving urban tree and is considered tolerant of most soil and moisture conditions, which makes it a perfect tree for Nebraska conditions.
Hackberry forms a rounded vase reaching a height of 40 to 80 feet. It is also a rapid grower, and transplants very easily. The mature bark is light gray, rough and corky and its small berry like fruit turns from orange red to purple and is relished by birds. Hackberry is planted in mid-western cities because of its tolerance to a wide range of soil and moisture conditions.
However, even slight injury to the trunk and branches can initiate extensive decay inside the tree. If you decide to plant this tree in your yard, locate it where it will be protected from mechanical injury. Hackberry is perfect for low-use areas such as along the edge of woods or in an open lawn, and not for along streets, because this tree is very susceptible to damage in an ice storm.