Hickory trees fall into the genus Carya. They are hardwoods and the most commonly known are shagbark, shellbark, mockernut, pignut, pecan and bitternut. All hickory trees are known for their hard nuts, except for the pecan. Pecans are an excellent tree for use in the home landscape, a great provider of pecan nuts and shade.
Landscapers and homeowners love the hickory tree not only for its nuts, but for the shade its high branches provide. Hickory trees thrive in wet soils – but tolerate most soil types – are self-pollinating, and will attract wildlife like squirrels. Hickory trees are long-lived and - as a general rule - produce hard, strong, and stiff lumber.
Hickory wood has long been used for flooring because of it toughness and attractive appearance. Hickory tree wood is also one of the preferred woods for barbecue and hickory smoked meats.
The hickory tree produces edible nuts that are encased in very hard shells, which typically need a nutcracker to open. However, trees usually do not begin bearing nuts until 15 to 20 years old. Once of bearing age, crops of hickory nuts can be expected every year.