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Celtis australis, also known as hackberry or spaccasassi is a long-lived deciduous tree originating in Asia, Europe and Africa. It has a straight, very branched trunk and a round and thick crown; the bark is gray and smooth, showing only black signs in very old specimens. The leaves are oval-lanceolate, serrated, with the upper page dark green and the lower page lighter and pubescent. In spring it produces whitish axillary inflorescences, which between the end of summer and the beginning of autumn give rise to green, roundish, edible drupes, which become almost black when ripe. In addition to C. australis, 15-20 plants are part of the genus Celtis, among which we mention the C. occidentalis, very similar to the previous one; C. laevigata, a widespread species in North America, with red bark; C. aetnensis, bushy in shape, widespread in Sicily.
As one of its common names suggests, spaccasassi, this plant loves stony, very well drained, calcareous, even poor soils; therefore it develops without problems in most of the garden soils, provided that; they are very well drained. The hackberry trees are not very demanding, so they are usually satisfied with the water provided by the rains; It is however advisable to water the plant abundantly in particularly dry periods.In autumn, bury mature organic fertilizer at the foot of the plant.In case of young specimens it is good to supply a greater quantity of water, being always careful to check that water stagnations do not form which could be dangerous for this kind of tree.Multiplication
To multiply the plants of hackberry and get good results, in autumn the seeds contained in the fruits must be sown, taking care to keep the seedlings in a protected place; in fact, the new plants must be planted after at least two years, since the young specimens do not bear persistent frosts. In autumn and spring it is possible to practice semi-woody cuttings.
It is good to proceed with the multiplication process when the temperatures are still not too high, because the new shoots are more likely to develop vigorously.
Bagolaro, Spaccasassi - Celtis australis: Parasites and diseases
Being this kind of rustic and resistant plant, it is usually not attacked by pests and diseases, even if the water stagnation could cause radical rot. Therefore, check that the soil is always well drained and does not allow water to settle.