Hackberry is a hardwood deciduous tree native to much of the eastern United States. The tree, scientifically known as Celtis occidentalis, is known for its rough bark. The hackberry, and its southern cousin the sugarberry, are harvested for the wood. The lumber is used for both utilitarian building and for finished wood projects.
As a low value hardwood some hackberry lumber appears in the construction of pallets and other packing type constructions. It often mixes with locally available elm wood for this type of construction. Both materials are used when they are locally available and low cost for the pallet industry.
Veneer use is limited for hackberry. In some cases the veneers are meant to look similar to the more expensive oak veneers. While hackberry is less expensive than oak veneer it does have difficulties with discoloration during handling and millwork. It is this propensity to staining or discoloring that has reduced the demand for all forms of hackberry lumber and materials.
Solid hackberry wood is most often used for furniture construction. This includes hidden framework for upholstered furniture. Hackberry fits this type of use for its hardwood traits and low cost. It is also used in finished wood items such as tables and desks because of its prominent grain and low cost. In these cases builders may stain it to look similar to oak.
Hackberry wood becomes firewood across the region where it grows. This is the most common use in areas where no commercial lumbering industry exists. Hackberry has a medium weight and density which makes it an excellent firewood.