Audubon® Native Bitternut Hickory

Availability: Out of stock

Bird-Friendly Audubon® Native Bitternut Hickory Tree (Carya cordiformis) is a fantastic deciduous hardwood tree that can reach a hefty 50-80 feet in maturity and spread to 30-50 feet wide. Adaptable and cold-hardy, these trees are similar to Walnuts with their long pinnate leaves, and yellowish-green catkins that become green-husked fall nuts if your tree is female!

Bitternut Hickory are a highly ornamental shade and landscape tree, growing tall, straight and with a vase-shaped canopy. The strong limbs are fantastic windbreaks, mightly specimens and roosting for birds and wildlife. The nuts are edible by humans, chipmunks, squirrels and other wildlife love them! The great green foliage fills out to create a lush deep shade that cools your home and reduces cooling costs.

Native Bitternut feature fall color is a vibrant yellow that positively glows! Set one so the setting sun shines through these trees and sets them alight in gold! The nuts attract loads of wildlife and the trees themselves call Wrens, Warblers, Grosbeaks, Vireos, and many other backyard songbirds to feast among, nest, and shelter. Additionally, several species of butterfly and moth use Hickory as Host Plants for their larvae! Banded Hairstreak, Hickory Tussock Moth, Regal and Giant Regal Moths and Luna Moth larvae that songbirds feed their hungry chicks!

Planting and Application:

Audubon® Natives like the mighty Bitternut are classic bird sanctuaries, housing flocks of birds and supporting entire ecosystems among their branches. Another common name for the Bitternut is the Swamp Hickory, indicating its tolerance to moist to occasionally wet soil. These Walnut relatives produce some juglone, but not nearly to the extent that walnut trees do. So plant your juglone-tolerant or native perennial shade gardens beneath these limbs without worry! Or just use the dense shade for your lawn chairs!

These are fantastic lawn and shade trees! A single specimen will set your front yard afire each fall and fill your backyards with birdsong. You’ll enjoy reduced cooling costs and increased home equity with a large long-lived tree like a Hickory. Plant in large open spaces and big backyards so a single tree can shade the entire area.

  • Long Bright Green Foliage
  • Tall Open Canopy & Straight Trunk
  • Gorgeous Golden Fall Color
  • Massive Wildlife, Bird & Butterfly Habitat
  • Shade, Lawn & Specimen Tree

#ProPlantTips for Care:

Hickory Trees need full sun and rich well-drained soil. These hardy natives adapt to a wide range of conditions and soil types. Prune in late winter to remove crossing and damaged limbs and mulch the root zone to hold in moisture and insulate the roots. Water young trees regularly while establishing, but after, these deer-resistant trees are adaptable to very moist conditions and occasional drought.

  • Full Sun
  • Almost Any Well-Drained Soil - Tolerates Clay
  • Thrives in Moist, Rich Soil
  • Deer Resistant
  • Cold Hardy USDFA Zones 4-9

Audubon® Native Bitternut Hickory Trees are large-scale specimens that shade your home and house tons of wildlife! Plant adaptable and hardy native trees and shrubs to help retain the native biodiversity in your area while supporting birds, butterflies and wildlife! Order yours today at!

Audubon® Plant Information

Bird-Friendly native trees and plants provide food and shelter for local and migrating birds, as well as other wildlife. By purchasing and planting native flora, you will support Audubon's conservation mission and impact, while helping birds and wildlife thrive!

  • Grown Without Neonicotinoids
  • Audubon® is Licensed & Registered to the National Audubon Society
  • May Not Be Available in Non-Native Regions, States or Countries - Check Here
  • Audubon® Native Plants & Trees are Exclusively Grown by Bower & Branch

Buying Options for Plants

Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.

Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!

Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.

  • Popular sizes of select trees are 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, etc.
  • Popular sizes of select bare root plants is 1 foot, 18 inches, etc.

Nature Hills Container Size by Volume

Keep in mind, specific varieties and different growing conditions can affect the rate at which plants grow. Variations in size may occur.

Young Plants to 18 Months
Size Volume
2"x2"x3" Ranges from .18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume
4.5" Container Equal to .65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume
Sprinter Pot Equal to .63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume
4" Container Ranges from .31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume
6" Container Equal to 1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume
1 Quart Equal to 1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume
5.5" Container Equal to 1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x5" Ranges from .8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x6" Ranges from 1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x9" Ranges from 1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x10" Ranges from 1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume
Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old
Size Volume
2 Quart Equal to 2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume
#1 Container Ranges from 2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume
5"x5"x12" Equal to 3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume
Plants 2 - 4 Years Old
Size Volume
#2 Container Ranges from 1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume
#3 Container Ranges from 2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume
Plants 3 - 5 Years Old
Size Volume
#5 Container Ranges from 2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume
#6 Container Ranges from 5.25 to 6.01 dry gallons / 23.12 to 26.42 dry liters in volume
#7 Container Ranges from 5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume

About Plant Sentry™

Plant Sentry is designed to protect both consumers and the nursery trade from invasive plant pests and diseases. Sites that display the Plant Sentry protection badge are protected from consumers buying and nurseries shipping material carrying invasive pests and diseases.

This proprietary eCommerce software prevents the shipment of a restricted plant to each state. The Plant Sentry system includes a shipment certification program. The Plant Sentry Compliance Officer works closely with and each nursery or fulfillment center to ensure only compliant plants are sold to customers.

Click Here to learn more

Plant Sentry


To obtain a more accurate shipment time-frame, simply enter your zip code in the “Find Your Growing Zone” box to the right. Our plants are grown all over the country and lead time on items may be different because of this. Once your order is placed, you will also receive the specific shipment time-frame information as part of your order confirmation. Once an item ships, you will receive shipment notification and tracking numbers, so you can follow along while your plant travels to your doorstep. We use FedEx, UPS, or USPS at our discretion.

Due to winter weather we have put a hold on shipping to the areas shown below in grey. You can still order now and we will ship the plant to you during an appropriate time for your zone.

*If you have found your zone already, it will be highlighted in the table below.
Color Zone Times
3 Spring 2019
4 Now
5 Now
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Shipping Rates

At Nature Hills we handle, package and ship the products you order with the utmost care to ensure healthy delivery. Shipping and handling charges are calculated based on the tables below. Please note that some items include an additional handling surcharge, these will be noted on the item's product page.

From To S&H
0 - 19.99 24.99
20 - 49.99 29.99
50 - 69.99 34.99
70 - 99.99 39.99
100 - 129.99 44.99
130 - 149.99 48.99
150 - 150+ Approx 28%

Click here to see our full rates


Audubon® Native Bitternut Hickory Is Suited to Grow in Zones 4-9
Growing Zones 4-9
More Information
Brand Audubon Native Plants & Trees
Botanical Name Carya cordiformis
Type Deciduous
Mature Height 50 - 80 feet
Mature Spread 30 - 50 feet
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Soil Adaptable to Most Soils
Moisture Medium
Growth Rate Medium
Flower Color Yellow
Foliage Color Green
Fall Color Yellow
Pollinator Friendly No
Pruning Time Late Winter
Fragrant No