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The hackberry

almez1 Celtis australis

This huge tree stands alongside a building known as the “Cypress Cottage”. Thought to be some  200 years old, it is 24 metres tall with a 3.72-metre perimeter and is probably the largest and best-conserved hackberry to be found anywhere in Malaga province.

Known scientifically as Celtis australis, the hackberry is a member of the Cannabaceae family. Its natural habitats are Southern Europe, North Africa and East Asia. The tree can live for up to six hundred years and serves a variety of purposes, its hard yet flexible wood being ideal for making barrels, walking sticks, fishing rods, oars, carriages and wind instruments. It is typically found in the pitchforks used to separate grain from chaff during harvesting and in the handles of farming tools.

Interesting fact: the tree's berries were once used by children as ammunition for peashooters.