Shellbark Hickory

Availability: Out of stock

Edible treats and cooling shade, the gorgeous hardwood native Shellbark Hickory Tree (Carya laciniosa) is a noble US forest resident that attracts and supports pollinators, songbirds, and wildlife! Mighty shade trees and specimens, Shellbark grows 60 - 80 feet in height and spread 40 - 60 feet wide at maturity!

In spring, the entire tree is bedecked in yellow-green spring catkins on male trees and insignificant green flowers on the female trees. The strong limbs and lush foliage are perfect for nesting birds, as the large compound leaves with 5 leaflets have a hairy saw-tooth margin and pointed tips for great texture!

Distinct shaggy bark, straight, slender trunk, and narrow, oblong crown make these natives a towering silhouette in the landscape all year round. Then, you'll enjoy a great crop of edible nuts every year from these wind-pollinated trees! The nuts ripen in fall just as the foliage turns into a luscious yellow and brown hue! You and the squirrels will be vying for the tasty nuts that are similar to Pecan nuts with a thin shell that splits on its own when they are fully ripe.

Planting and Application:

Shellbark Hickory looks wonderful as specimen trees and are towering lawn specimens and the unique bark has considerable winter interest! Plant these hardy natives as windbreak plantings that will stand the test of time and Mother Nature. Plant in areas that occasionally flood without worry as these trees do well in wetlands and along riparian areas throughout U.S. hardwood forests.

Create lush shade and habitat by planting in informal groups and rows of shelterbelts. It isn't just your birds and wildlife that will enjoy this tree. Add to your Nut tree orchard so that you too can enjoy the delicious nuts, shade, and wildlife these vital keystone species support!

  • Lush Green Compound Leaves - Hairy Sawtooth Edges
  • Tall & Broad Oblong Canopy
  • Wind-Pollinated Flavorful Nuts
  • Golden Brown Fall Color
  • Wildlife & Songbird Support
  • Magnificent Specimens, Shade, Windbreaks & Legacy Trees

#ProPlantTips for Care:

Needing full sun, Hickory Trees have deep taproots that allow them to withstand drought, occasionally wet soil and high winds! Plant in any moist, well-drained soil and top-dress with 3-4 inches of mulch for young trees to insulate their developing roots. Prune young trees in the late winter or early spring if needed.

  • Full Sun Trees
  • Any Well-Drained Soil Types
  • Native Wetland Trees - Handle Average to High Moisture
  • Prune When Dormant
  • Mulch New Trees Well

A keystone species that supports amazing amounts of diversity, the edible landscaping native Shellbark Hickory Tree will be a lasting memorial and legacy for generations to come! Order your bird and wildlife trees and plants at now!

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
6 Now
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11 Now

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


Shellbark Hickory Is Suited to Grow in Zones 5 - 8
Growing Zones 5 - 8
More Information
Brand Nature Hills' Choice
Botanical Name Carya laciniosa
Type Deciduous
Mature Height 60 - 80 Feet
Mature Spread 40 - 60 Feet
Sun Exposure Full Sun, Partial Shade
Soil Adaptable to Most Soil
Moisture Medium
Growth Rate Medium
Flower Color Yellow
Foliage Green
Foliage Color Moderate
Fall Color Yellow
Pollinator Friendly No
Pruning Time Late Winter
Fragrant No