Last Sunday in Schenley Park I found these small hard berries littering the trails … and then one fell on my head. I looked up to see a flock of robins knocking berries to the ground as they reached to eat them.
It’s easy to identify the berries by the bark of their tree. The common hackberry (Celtis occidentalis) has distinctive layered ridges.
Here’s a closeup of one ridge, photographed on a frosty morning.
Birds eat the berries. Deer eat the twigs.
Hackberry trees provide lots of food for wildlife.
(photos by Kate St.John)