Plant types and subtypes: Trees & Shrubs, Trees, Deciduous
Light Requirements: sun, part-sun, part-shade
Water Use: low
Soil Moisture: dry, moist
Soil Description: acid, rich, average, loam, clay
Bloom Time: March, April, May, June
Bloom Color: green, brown
Leaf Color: green
Hardiness Zone: 5, 6, 7, 8
Additional Tags: attracts birds, edible, fall interest, naturalizing, shade tree, showy fruit
Pricing & Availability
Carya ovataAlso known as:
Hicoria alba, Hicoria borealis, Hicoria ovata
Carya ovata is the most easily recognizable of all the hickories due to its bark that peels of in large, loose plates. It is a tall tree with a narrow oval crown that commonly grow to a height of 90', more rarely to 120'. The leaves are compound, finely-toothed, deep glossy-green, and turn brilliant shades of yellow to bronze in fall. The fruit are showy and roundish, and produce edible seeds.
Shagbark hickory is native to a variety of environments, from dryer upland mountains of the Appalachians, to moist lowlands and river basins. It can be established as an understory tree, so long as it can benefit from open shade. It will also make a fine specimen for a shade tree in full sun. It is adaptable to a range of soil types, and moisture. The deep taproot makes it quite drought resistant within its natural range. Bloom times are from March in the south, to June in the north. Zones 5-8
Easy to propagate from seed. Stored seeds will require a minimum of 30 days of cold stratification to break dormancy. Saplings are quick to produce a long taproot, and should be planted in their final location as soon as possible; even younger trees are difficult to transplant.
The lumber of the shagbark hickory is known for its strength and resilience. It has been used to produce handles and other farm implements, as well as flooring and furniture. It has long been harvested as a high heat, even-burning woodfuel. It is also sought out as an aromatic wood for smoking meats. The nuts are an important food source for a variety of mammals, and can constitute up to 10% of the the diet of small species such as chipmunks.
Native Range & Classification
Recorded County Distribution: USDA data
AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV
|Species||Carya ovata||shagbark hickory|