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Shellbark Hickory

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The Shellbark Hickory tree, Carya laciniosa, is also known as big leaf Shagbark, Kingnut, Big Shellbark, Bottom Shellbark, Thick Shellbark and Western Shellbark.

This deciduous tree is similar to that of the Shagbark Hickory, but not quite as shaggy.  It is less common than either the Shagbark or Bitternut Hickories. The wood is similar to that of the Shagbark Hickory and is used in much the same way. 

The fruit is larger than other hickories.  This is a big tree and it prefers wet, fertile bottomland.  Like other hickories, it is very tolerant of summer drought.  The nuts of Shellbark Hickory are utilized by wildlife (ducks, quail, wild turkeys, squirrels, chipmunks, deer, foxes, raccoons, and white-footed mice) and man.  Its sweet, huge nuts are also relished by squirrels, and give it an alternative common name of King Nut Hickory, due to the nuts being the largest of the hickories.

The Shellbark Hickory tree has heavy, dense, strong, yet elastic wood that is sought after for making tool handles, athletic equipment, furniture, construction timbers, and firewood; its wood chips are often used for smoking of meats.

This tall shade tree is a slow-growing but potentially massive tree and displays a yellow fall color!

* Strong wood

* Drought tolerant

* Fall color


Plant Facts

Family Carya laciniosa
Foliage Green
Mature Height 80 - 100 feet
Mature Spread 60 - 75 feet
Soil Widely Adaptable
Zones 5-9
Mature Form Tall, Narrow Crown
Growth Rate Moderate
Sun Exposure Full Sun - Partial Sun
Flower Color Not Showy
Fall Color Yellow

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