Shagbark hickory

Silhouette - shagbark hickory
  • Latin name: Carya ovata (Mill.) K. Koch
  • French name: Caryer ovale
  • Synonym(s): Upland hickory
  • Taxonomic Serial Number: 19242
Description

Leaves

  • Typical leaf - shagbark hickory
  • Leaflet with detail of tufts of hair on margin - shagbark hickory

Form

  • 5 (sometimes 7) leaflets on a central stalk
  • Pointed at both ends
  • Sparsely hairy on lower surface

Length  

  • Leaf and central stalk 15–25 cm

Width

  • Leaflets widest at the middle

Colour

  • Upper surface yellowish-green
  • Lower surface paler

Margin

  • Finely toothed
  • 2 or 3 tufts of hairs per tooth

Buds

  • Lateral bud and leaf scar - shagbark hickory

Form

  • Terminal bud present, ovoid, blunt-pointed
  • 4–6 overlapping scales
  • Outer scales loosely spreading and often broken
  • Inner scales densely hairy
  • Lateral buds diverge from the twig

Length

  • Terminal bud 12–18 mm

Colour

  • Greenish-brown

Twigs

  • Lateral bud and leaf scar - shagbark hickory

Form

  • Stout, shiny

Colour

  • Reddish-brown to greyish-brown

Flowers

Form

  • Pollen flowers in 3-branched, drooping catkins
  • Seed flowers in small erect terminal clusters (spikes)

Structure

  • Monoecious

Fruits

  • Fruit - shagbark hickory

Form

  • Almost globular
  • Solitary or in pairs
  • Husk thick, woody
  • Splitting to the base when the fruit is ripe
  • Shell of nut thin, hard
  • Kernel sweet, edible

Length

  • Fruit 3–5 cm

Width

  • Wider than long

Structure

  • Nut

Bark

Form

  • Separating into long shaggy plates with age
  • Plates free at lower ends or at both ends

Colour

  • Dark grey

Wood

Uses

  • The best quality hickory wood

Size

Height

  • To 25 m

Diameter

  • To 60 cm

Maximum age

  • 200 years

Tree form

  • Silhouette - shagbark hickory

Forest-grown

Trunk

  • Straight, slender
  • Spreading at the base
  • Often branch-free for three-quarters of its length

Crown

  • Short, ascending, spreading branches
  • Widening at the top to become almost flattened

Habitat

Site

  • Rich moist soils on hillsides and in valleys

Associated species

  • Mixed with other broadleaf trees

Range

From southern Ontario along the St. Lawrence River into Quebec

Photos
  • Shagbark hickory
  • Shagbark hickory
  • Shagbark hickory
  • Shagbark hickory
  • Shagbark hickory
  • Shagbark hickory
  • Shagbark hickory
  • Shagbark hickory
Distribution map
Distribution map - shagbark hickory
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