Shellbark hickory

Silhouette - shellbark hickory
  • Latin name: Carya laciniosa Michx. f.
  • French name: Caryer lacinié
  • Synonym(s): Kingnut , big shagbark hickory
  • Taxonomic Serial Number: 19235
Description

Leaves

  • Typical leaf - shellbark hickory
  • Leaflet with detail of single hairs along margin - shellbark hickory

Form

  • 7 (sometimes 9) leaflets
  • Central stalk often remains on twig after leaflets are shed
  • Lower surface hairy

Length

  • Leaf and central stalk 25–30 cm

Width

  • Leaflets widest near the middle

Colour

  • Upper surface dark yellowish-green
  • Lower surface paler

Margin

  • Finely toothed
  • Hairs present but not in tufts

Buds

  • Lateral bud and leaf scar - shellbark hickory

Form

  • Terminal bud present
  • 10–12 scales
  • Lateral buds diverge slightly from the twig

Length

  • Terminal bud 20–25 mm

Twigs

  • Winter twig - shellbark hickory

Form

  • Slightly hairy

Colour

  • Dull yellowish-brown to dark orange-cinnamon
  • Colour not always present

Flowers

Form

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

Structure

  • Monoecious

Fruits

  • Fruit - shellbark hickory

Form

  • Globular
  • In small clusters
  • Husk 6–12 mm thick, woody
  • Splitting along 4 lines to the base when ripe
  • Shell moderately thick, hard
  • Kernel sweet, edible

Length

  • Fruit 5–7 cm

Structure

  • Nut

Bark

Form

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

Colour

  • Dark grey

Size

Height

  • To 30 m

Diameter

  • To 90 cm

Maximum age

  • 200 years

Tree form

  • Silhouette - shellbark hickory

Forest-grown

Trunk

  • Branch-free for more than one-half its height
  • Often strongly tapered from the base upward

Crown

  • Narrow, open
  • Short, sturdy, ascending branches spread out toward the top

Root system

  • Taproot deep, strong, except in swamps

Habitat

Site

  • Moist to wet in valleys and along stream banks

Associated species

  • Mixed with other broadleaf trees

Range

Rare in Canada; scattered occurrence north of Lake Erie in southern Ontario

Photos
  • Shellbark hickory
Distribution map
Distribution map - shellbark hickory
Date modified: