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Shellbark Hickory

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

Customer Reviews

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Sunday Review by spflaw
Rating
This appears to be a good tree for our more rural area. The large nuts would make it more difficult for a lawn but great for our farm.
A Beautiful Tree Review by aorian
Rating
I grew up in rural Western Kentucky, right on the banks of the Mississippi River. I spent lots of time hunting squirrel and cutting fire wood, and thus I had to learn my trees. Shellbark & Shagbark Hickories were very easy to distinguish from the other trees, though somewhat more difficult to tell apart from on another unless you could see the nuts. Shellbarks in the bottoms along the Mississippi and Ohio River bottoms, often produce tennis ball to baseball size nuts (including the outside husk), and offer the best and largest meat nuts. Which are excellent for candy, fudge, brownies, pies, or eaten raw! As for anything other than rodents and man eating them, that isnt true. Hickory nuts take a determined effort to get into them, and only a good hammer or the super sharp teeth of a rodent like a squirrel, chipmunks, rat or mouse has any hope of getting through the rock hard shells. Ducks, wild turkey, deer, raccoons, and foxes have little hope of getting through shell. This is truly a beautiful tree, and is very majestic especially in a yard, though it could pose a lawn mowing hazard, and sounds like you are running over rocks when you mow over them. It is best to collect the nuts as they fall, if you plant them in a yard, and when you mow, make sure the discharge is pointing away from windows, animals and people, as those nuts can break windows and raise a knot on your head... they also pose a eye hazard to by-standards during mowing around the trees. Both Shagbark and Shellbark Hickories have very beautiful bright orange to golden yellow leaves color in the fall, and healthy trees are very resistant to ice strom damage or wind damage.

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Plant Facts

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

Shellbark Hickory.

Rating: 5/5 based on 2 review(s)
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11/22/2014 19:51:35 -207.198.123.130-Unknown