Cucumber Magnolia is actually pretty common in many parts of PA. It tends to grow in moist ravines with Tulip Poplar and has a bark and overall form similar to Tulip Poplar. I often have to look twice to ID a Cucumber Magnolia because the bark is so similar to Tulip Poplar, and in the tall forests where they both live in can be hard to see the leaves and fruit high overhead.
From: Bird discussion list for Pennsylvania [mailto:<PABIRDS...>] On Behalf Of Gross, Douglas
Sent: Thursday, February 1, 2018 5:30 AM
Subject: Re: [PABIRDS] Hackberry Birds: Evening Grosbeaks
I do not propagate Northern Hackberry or know much about its growth. Hackberry grows best in rich bottomland forests but also will grow on hillsides. Each tree has flowers of both sexes. But, I would bet that it is better for multiple trees to be planted at a location to mix with the usual silver maples & sycamores of these woods.
I’ve seen many hackberry trees in woods along the Susquehanna river including places like Bloomsburg town park, the Berwick brewery (which overlooks the river), Susquehanna Riverlands, and along the Susquehanna Warrior Trail in Luzerne County. I am sure that they grow at many locations along the main branch of the Susquehanna and along other streams in the state as well as parks and game lands. They must be common on islands, too. Birds distribute the seeds through their digestive tract so seedlings grown in a lot of places that might not be optimum for growth.
Yes, I have seen hackberry emperors in Susquehanna Riverlands.
When I have led bird walks, I’ve often been the only person on the walk who knew what this species was and that it was a good wildlife plant. That’s why I’ve chimed in. It is good for birders to be better botanists.
I also like the cucumber magnolia tree or cucumber-tree (Magnolia acuminata) that can grow pretty large and produces odd sausage-shaped green fruits that wood ducks and other birds consume.