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Carya ovata

shagbark hickory add to wishlist

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

Height: 50'-90'

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

Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
  • Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
  • Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
  • Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
  • Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)

Pricing & Availability

Description

Carya ovata

Also known as:

shagbark hickory

,

shellbark hickory

,

scalybark hickory

,

shagbark

,

upland hickory

Scientific Synonyms:

Hicoria alba, Hicoria borealis, Hicoria ovata

Description

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.

Cultivation

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

Propagation

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.

Additional Notes

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

Native Range:
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

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Hamamelididae
Order Juglandales
Family Juglandaceae Walnut family
Genus Carya hickory
Species Carya ovata shagbark hickory