Shagbark Hickory Tree

By: C. Colston Burrell
Shagbark hickory tree is a that grows up to 80 feet. See more pictures of trees.

Shagbark hickory tree, a native of northeastern North America, is a tall deciduous tree, growing to 80 feet and forming dense shade at maturity. It is not commonly known as an ornamental tree despite several interesting characteristics.

Description of shagbark hickory tree: The growth of the shagbark hickory is upright at first, but at maturity it forms a round-topped tree. Its most striking characteristic is its bark -- gray to brown, but broken into plates that curve at the ends, giving it a shaggy appearance. The leaves are pinnately compound with five leaflets and shaded a deep yellow-green. In the fall they become yellow or golden brown. The fruits are large, oblong, and contain large edible nuts.


Growing shagbark hickory tree: The shagbark hickory does best on deep, rich loams but will tolerate poorer soils. It is best grown in full sun or light shade. The tree produces a deep taproot, which makes it particularly hard to transplant. It is often most easily grown from seed sown where you want the tree to grow.

Uses for shagbark hickory tree: The shagbark hickory is an excellent shade tree with good fall color. Not only are its nuts edible but its wood is highly esteemed for many uses. This is the tree used in producing hickory-scented foods.

Shagbark hickory tree related species: The shellbark hickory (Carya laciniosa) is similar but is better adapted to damp, even wet, soils.

Scientific name of shagbark hickory tree: Carya ovata


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