Hackberry is closely related to sugarberry (Celtis laevigata) and is a member of the elm family. There is little difference between sapwood and heartwood, which is yellowish grey to light brown with yellow streaks. The wood is very susceptible to blue staining before and after kilning and has irregular grain, occasionally straight and sometimes interlocked, with a fine uniform texture.
The wood planes and turns well and is intermediate in its ability to hold nails and screws, and stains and polishes satisfactorily. Hackberry dries readily with minimal degrade. It has a fairly high shrinkage and may be susceptible to movement in performance.
Hackberry is moderately hard, heavy and has medium bending strength and high shock resistance, but is low in stiffness. It has a good steam bending classification.
Non-resistant to heartwood decay. Liable to attack by forest longhorn and Buprestid beetle. The heartwood is moderately resistant to preservative treatment but the sapwood is permeable.
Furniture and kitchen cabinets, joinery, doors and mouldings.