Red hickory

Silhouette - red hickory
  • Latin name: Carya glabra (Mill.)
  • French name: Caryer glabre
  • Synonym(s): Pignut hickory , false shagbark hickory
  • Taxonomic Serial Number: 19231
Description

Leaves

  • Typical leaf - red hickory
  • Leaflet with detail of hairless margin - red hickory

Form

  • 5–7 leaflets on a central stalk
  • Tip narrow-pointed
  • Base wedge-shaped
  • Main veins on lower surface hairy

Length

  • Leaf and central stalk 15–25 cm

Colour

  • Upper surface dark yellowish-green
  • Lower surface paler

Margin

  • Finely toothed
  • Usually hairless on mature leaves
  • Hairs, if present, not in tufts

Buds

  • Lateral bud and leaf scar - red hickory

Form

  • Terminal bud present
  • Variable in shape
  • Somewhat pointed
  • Outer scales shed in early autumn
  • Remaining terminal bud stout, densely hairy
  • Lateral buds smaller, broad, blunt-tipped

Length

  • Terminal bud 6–9 mm

Twigs

  • Winter twig - red hickory

Form

  • Slender
  • Often with long ridges
  • Shiny, hairless

Colour

  • Grey to reddish-brown

Flowers

Form

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

Structure

  • Monoecious

Fruits

  • Fruit - red hickory

Form

  • Somewhat pear-shaped
  • In small clusters
  • Husk thin, smooth, glossy
  • Friable, 4-ridged
  • Splitting readily from top to base
  • Nut slightly flattened, shell moderately thick
  • Kernel bitter, not edible

Length

  • Fruit 25–50 mm
  • Nut 20–25 mm

Structure

  • Nut

Bark

Form

  • Thin, becoming scaly and shallowly fissured with narrow intersecting ridges

Colour

  • Grey

Size

Height

  • To 20 m

Diameter

  • To 50 cm

Maximum age

  • 200 years

Tree form

  • Silhouette - red hickory

Forest-grown

Trunk

  • Often branch-free with little taper

Crown

  • Irregularly narrow, with short crooked branches
  • Branch tips and lower branchlets often bending downward
  • Longest, heaviest branches often near the top

Habitat

Site

  • Well-drained sites (an upland species)

Light tolerance

  • Intolerant of shade

Associated species

  • Other broadleaf trees

Range

Rare in Canada; scattered locations in southern Ontario

Distribution map
Distribution map - red hickory
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