Hickory Tree Guide: How To Identify Hickory Tree Leaves, Bark, and Seeds

Full leaf Hickory Tree with sunlight shining through the hickory tree leaves in fall, placed in an oval frame.

When you consider how many trees are in the world, it can be hard telling one Hickory Tree from the other.

However, with this extensive Hickory Tree guide, you can learn how to easily identify hickory leaves, bark, and seeds, so you won’t be mistaking your Shellbarks with your Pignuts or even your Shagbarks ever again.

But even more, you’ll be able to tell a true Hickory Tree from a Pecan Hickory Tree.

Belonging to the walnut family (Juglandaceae), what all the 12 native species of the Hickory Tree in the United States have in common is that they all have the same first genus name, Carya, yet all have different surnames.

Keep reading to learn more cool Hickory Tree facts and how to identify this crucial species.

Hickory Tree


Hickory tree in oval frame on green background.
  • Family: Juglandaceae
  • Genus: Carya
  • Leaf: Up to 17 leaflets in one stem that turn bright yellow in fall, serrated
  • Bark: Young: Smooth with few fissures, Mature: Break into strips, gray to brown
  • Blossoms: No petals, male are small and yellowish-green catkins, female look like terminal spikes of up to ten flowers
  • Fruit: Rounded nut enclosed in 4-valved husk
  • Native Habitat: Asia, USA, Mexico, Canada
  • Height: Up to 100 feet
  • Canopy: Up to 70 feet
  • Type: Deciduous
  • Other Facts: Some species are more threatened than others

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Ranking

Least Concern


Image Credit: Аимаина хикари25

Types of Hickory Tree (With Pictures)

Apart from the 12 native species of Hickory Trees listed below, there are another 6 located throughout China, Mexico, and India. Prized for their timber, and their nuts, these much sought-after deciduous trees grow to between 60-100 feet in height with canopies of up to 40 feet wide.

On the ICUN Red list, they rank in position number 3 and are classed as Least Concern despite the fact that they are harvested on a continuous basis. Fortunately, because these trees are so abundant, they will be around for many more centuries to come.

However, the Shagbark Hickory has been upgraded to threatened in New York state.

If grown from a seed it can take between 10-25 years for the first fruits to blossom depending on the species, and then they will bloom yearly after that in spring.

1. Shellbark Hickory Tree
(Carya laciniosa)

  • Leaf: Dark green with 7 leaflets, and about 50 cm in length
  • Trunk: Straight and sturdy
  • Bark: Gray, very shaggy-like with thick smooth plates
  • Fruit: Light brown, large, and nuts are very sweet but very hard to crack open
  • Height: 60-80 Feet
  • Canopy: 30-50 Feet
  • USDA Zone: 5-8

Close up photo of a Shellbark Hickory tree with its rough bark.

(Image: Agnieszka Kwiecień10)

Photo of a Shagbark Hickory Tree with its rough bark and yellow leaves.

(Image: Plant Image Library11)

2. Shagbark Hickory
(Carya ovata)

  • Leaf: Has 5 leaflets that turn golden yellow in the fall
  • Trunk: Straight, round trunk
  • Bark: Long and narrow plates that curl away from the trunk as the tree matures
  • Fruit: These grow in pairs and have a sweet buttery taste
  • Height: Grows up to 100 feet
  • Canopy: 30-50 Feet
  • USDA Zone: 4-8

3. Southern Shagbark Hickory
(Carya carolinae-septentrionalis)

  • Leaf: 5 Leaflets on black twigs when mature
  • Trunk: Thick
  • Bark: The bark can easily be peeled away in long strips
  • Fruit: The nuts are light to dark brown in color, very sweet, and easy to crack open
  • Height: 65-100 Feet
  • Canopy: 30-40 Feet
  • USDA Zone: 3-8
Close up image of a Southern Shagbark Hickory tree with its peeling rough bark and green leaves.


Close up image of a Pignut Hickory Tree with its rough, brown bark.

(Image: Avery Ramsey13)

4. Pignut or Black Hickory
(Carya glabra)

  • Leaf: 5 Leaflets
  • Trunk: Diameter of 1-2 feet
  • Bark: Light gray to brown with smaller, crisscrossing cracks
  • Fruit: Pear-shaped nut that measures 2 cm and can be eaten raw or roasted
  • Height: 30-60 Feet
  • Canopy: 30-40 Feet
  • USDA Zone: 6

5. Pecan
(Carya illinoinensis)

  • Leaf: 9-17 Leaflets with serrated edges
  • Trunk: Up to 6.6 feet in diameter
  • Bark: Scaly appearance
  • Fruit: Sweet, edible nuts
  • Height: 70-100 Feet
  • Canopy: 40-70 Feet
  • USDA Zone: 5-9
Close up image of a Pecan Hickory tree with its rough bark.

(Image: James St. John14)

Low angle Photo of a Mockernut Hickory tree with its green leaves and smooth, brown bark.

(Image: David J. Stang15)

6. Mockernut Hickory
(Carya Tomentosa)

  • Leaf: 7 Leaflets
  • Trunk: Gray, narrow
  • Bark: Dark brown, smooth then becomes ridged
  • Fruit: The edible nut breaks into 4 tasty segments
  • Height: 50-80 Feet
  • Canopy: 40-60 Feet
  • USDA Zone: 4-9

7. Bitternut Hickory (Carya cordiformis)

  • Leaf: 7-9 Leaflets, dark green with a hairy other side
  • Trunk: Shallows furrows with a gray-brown hue
  • Bark: Shallow groove with thin ridges that interconnect
  • Fruit: A very bitter nut that even foraging animals avoid
  • Height: 50-80 Feet
  • Canopy: 30-50 Feet
  • USDA Zone: 4-9
Close up image of a Red Hickory tree with its rough bark in a park.

(Image: Chris Light17)

8. Red Hickory
(Carya ovalis)

  • Leaf: 7 Leaflets. Dark and shiny on one side, lighter and duller on the other
  • Trunk: Slim but very strong
  • Bark: Shaggy strips of gray bark
  • Fruit: Whitish nut inside a thick shell
  • Height: 80 Feet
  • Canopy: 50-70 Feet
  • USDA Zone: 5-9

9. Sand Hickory
(Carya pallida)

  • Leaf: 5 Leaflets
  • Trunk: Very straight and narrow
  • Bark: Dark gray when matured with a diamond-shaped scaly appearance
  • Fruit: Small with a thin shell
  • Height: 100 Feet
  • Canopy: 40-50
  • USDA Zone: 5-9
Close up image of a Sand Hickory Tree with its tree branches.

(Image: PumpkinSky18)

Image of Scrub Hickory tree with its green leaves in a forest.

(Image: Homer Edward Price19)

10. Scrub Hickory
(Carya floridana)

  • Leaf: 3 Leaflets and broad
  • Trunk: 72 Inches in diameter
  • Bark: Diamond-shaped ridges
  • Fruit: Sweet, edible, and very nutritious
  • Height: 16 Feet
  • Canopy: 10 Feet
  • USDA Zone: 5-9

11. Nutmeg Hickory
(Carya myristiciformis)

  • Leaf: 7 Leaflets light green in color with silver undersides
  • Trunk: Stout trunk supported by strong taproots
  • Bark: Brown-gray that peels in strips
  • Fruit: Round and extremely tasty and popular
  • Height: 80-100 Feet
  • Canopy: 30-50 Feet
  • USDA Zone: 8-11
Close up image of a Nutmeg Hickory with its tree branches.

(Image: Plant Image Library20)

Image of a Black Hickory tree with its smooth bark in a forest.

(Image: cwhiting21)

12. Black Hickory
(Carya texana)

  • Leaf: 5-7 Leaflets dark green in color
  • Trunk: Narrow and straight
  • Bark: Dark gray to black in color that is deeply furrowed
  • Fruit: Small and round
  • Height: 50 Feet
  • Canopy: 30-40 Feet
  • USDA Zone: 5-9

A Hickory Tree Guide: How To Identify Hickory Tree Leaves, Bark, and Seeds

Being able to identify a Hickory Tree from the physical descriptions above if you’re ever lost in the wilderness can mean the difference between having a very nutritious snack that is packed with 200 energy-giving calories or having a bitter taste in your mouth.

Hickory tree identification chart showing hickory tree leaves, hickory tree flowers, hickory tree seeds, and hickory tree bark images in circle frames on a green background.

But more importantly, some nuts from other trees can be inedible or even poisonous so proper identification is important. Climate change and reforestation have encouraged people to undertake planting projects to plant more trees, often without verifying the actual species.

So, whenever foraging, before you crack, pop, and chew, ensure that the tree towering over your treasure trove is the right hickory so you won’t be unpleasantly surprised. Always look at the leaves, the bark, and the size, color, and shape of the nuts.

Hickory Tree Leaves

Throughout all the species of the Hickory Tree, what separates them from other trees is the way several leaves grow from one stalk, often ranging from a maximum size of 20 cm at the very point of the rachis and shrinking down to 5 cm at the base.

Hickory tree leaf identification chart showing shellbark hickory tree leaf, shagbark hickory tree leaf, Southern shagbark tree leaf, black hickory tree leaf, pecan hickory tree leaf, mockernut hickory tree leaf, butternut hickory tree leaf, sand hickory tree leaf, scrub hickory tree leaf, nutmeg hickory tree leaf, and black hickory tree leaf images in circle frames on a green background.

(Shellbark Hickory Image: John Ambler26, Southern Shagbark Image: Ken Kneidel27, Mockernut Hickory Image: Bill Michalekl28, Scrub Hickory Image: Daniel Estabrooks29, Nutmeg Hickory Image: John Kees30, Black Hickory Image: David Peden31)

Many of them are serrated, while some are rounded but what is consistent is that the number of leaves on the stem is always odd, never even.

Hickory Tree Bark

The bark of the Hickory Tree is just as distinctive. Smooth when young, it appears to age badly with deep vertical ridges, all with varying furrow depths, and even peeling away easily in strips on some species.

If the strips stay attached they tend to curl upwards to give that shaggy fur look, as in the case of the shagbark.

Regardless of how unkempt the bark looks, its primary goal is to protect the valuable timber within from pests, mold, diseases, and harsh sunburn. And, of course, to keep the tree nice and snug in the colder winter months.

Hickory Tree Nuts

The fact that Hickory Tree fruits can be immediately eaten directly from the shells makes them an invaluable source of food for squirrels and deer,1 but they can adversely affect dogs if ingested so care needs to be taken when discovering them.

Native Americans recognized the flexibility of the nuts specifically from the Shagbark Hickory Tree, making porridge from them to supplement their diet as well as roasting the nuts for quick, nutritional snacks.

Hickory tree seed identification chart showing shellbark hickory tree seed, shagbark hickory tree seed, Southern shagbark tree seed, black hickory tree seed, pecan hickory tree seed, mockernut hickory tree seed, butternut hickory tree seed, red hickory tree seed, sand hickory tree seed, scrub hickory tree seed, nutmeg hickory tree seed, and black hickory tree seed images in circle frames on a green background.

(Southern Shagbark Image: Scott Ward32, Pignut Hickory Image: Nonbinary-Naturalist33, Red Hickory Image: Shaun Pogacnik34, Sand Hickory Image: Douglas Goldman24, Scrub Hickory Image: Daniel Estabrooks23, and Black Hickory Image: Cazody16)

Quickly identifying the features will come naturally with practice and soon it will be possible to identify which nut has dropped from which tree before trying the taste test.

Identifying 7 Types of Hickory Trees

The list below will help in identifying the nuts of the Hickory Tree species.

Southern Shagbark

The husk, brownish-black, is round and about 2.5 cm to 5 cm in width. It splits open easily to reveal the thin-skinned shell that holds the light-brown kernel inside.

It can be eaten raw but for some, it can be too sweet. To eliminate that sweet taste, roasting lightly over an open flame will enhance the flavor and make it a warm, crunchy snack.

 Bitternut Hickory

The size of this bitter-tasting nut is smaller at 2cm to 4 cm, and the husk is a lighter shade of brown. It appears to have four strips that meet at a sharp tip, and when opened the kernel is a reddish brown, and very bitter.

Pignut Hickory

Grayish-brown and with thin skin, this nut is 2.5 cm long and 2 cm wide with a segmented appearance that makes it look like a pig’s nose, hence the name.

It tapers from the apex to the base and although it isn’t as bitter as the Bitternut Hickory, it is generally ground down for use in baking to make it palatable.

Shellbark Hickory

The nut from the Shellbark Hickory is also known as the kingnut as it is the biggest at 4.5 cm to 6.5 cm in length and up to a width of nearly 4 cm.6 Light brown in color with an oval shape, it is easy to identify and has a kernel inside that is sweet and can be eaten as soon as the thick shell is cracked open.

Red Hickory

This very round, nut measures about 3 cm long by 2 cm wide and is easily distinguishable by its coloring which is almost a deep purple. The kernel is light brown, ridged, with a sweet flavor, and can be eaten raw.

Sand Hickory

The sand hickory is the baby of the bunch, measuring a mere 13 mm by 37 mm, and has the same coloring as a nice sandy beach.

When it naturally falls from the tree at the end of summer, the thin husk splits open slightly to reveal a light brown shell within that has a thin layer of fur. Sweet to the taste, they can be eaten raw and are often used in both sweet and savory dishes.

Mockernut Hickory

With a dark gray oval shape and measuring only 4 cm by 5 cm, this is a tough nut to crack. The husk is very thick but worth breaking into as the prize within is sweet and worth the effort to extract.

Although it can be eaten raw, it is often soaked in brine, sprinkled with salt, and baked.

The Cultivation and History of the Shagbark Hickory Tree

The bark on the trunk of a Shagbark Hickory Tree is unkempt and always appears to be in a state of peeling away, plates of it ready to come away with a gentle tug. Adaptable to growing in different environments, the shagbark prefers humid climates and soil that is moist but not waterlogged.

Hickory tree growth chart showing full grown Hickory tree on a line graph with Hickory tree age on the x-axis and Hickory tree height on the y-axis.

In an ideal setting, these trees can grow to heights of up to 120 feet, although the average is 80 feet, and live for 300 years. Throughout its lifespan, it is a source of food for bears, mice, squirrels, chipmunks, foxes, and birds, and shelter for smaller animals that shelter within the crevices of the bark.

For Native Americans, the Shagbark Hickory was utilized to its fullest extent, making corn cakes, boiling the kernels to turn them into milk, crafting the wood into bows, handles, axles, plows, and many other items from the hardwood for daily use. They also manufactured medicinal remedies from the trees to ease colds, to use as laxatives, and even to make tea and sweet syrup.

Early European settlers jumped on the bandwagon, so to speak, by making wagon wheels, rungs for ladders, and barrel hoops out of the wood from the younger genus Carya trees to reinforce casks,9 and crushing the nuts to make oil.

Wooden kegs reinforced with wood barrel hoops made of wood from young hickory tree.

(Image: ELEVATE22)

There can be no doubt that historically the Shagbark Hickory Tree has played a contributing role in the development of the United States.

Managing Pests and Diseases of Hickory Trees

Hickory Trees have thick skins and when healthy can be very disease and pest resistant. But they are not invulnerable to infestations from fungi or pests, and one, in particular, can become a deadly assailant.

The Hickory Bark Beetle

Distinguishable by its smooth, reddish-brown shell, when it comes to causing maximum damage, the hickory bark beetle (Scolytus quadrispinosus) is at the front of the queue. It frequently attacks trees damaged by storms or weakened by droughts, the adults wreaking deadly havoc as they devour twigs, and the larvae causing even worse harm by boring into the trunk and branches, weakening the wood as they tunnel deeper.

A clear sign that they are present, apart from the 3 mm holes peppering the trunk but that is still not easy to spot, is the appearance of woodpeckers. They peck away incessantly to get at these juicy morsels secreted inside and in their feeding methods expose the presence of the larvae.

Dutch elm disease, which over the past several years has killed thousands of American elm trees in the United States, is one of the illnesses that hickory bark beetles are also known to carry, increasing the danger that they represent. This disease poses an imminent threat to neighboring Hickory Trees as it spreads quickly and is difficult to contain and control once it has materialized.

To prevent the initial infestation, the only method is to maintain the health of the Hickory Tree, inspect and prune it regularly, and if there is any suspicion that the hickory bark beetle is present to contact a professional arborist to eliminate this deadly threat.

Aphids and Webworms

Not as destructive as the hickory bark beetle, aphids can cause a significant amount of damage if left unchecked. Leaves and twigs take the brunt of the onslaught, turning brown and dying off quickly.

Webworms (Hyphantria cunea) are thick white caterpillars that can be very invasive and are a common problem for Hickory Trees.8

The females tend to lay a cocoon of up to 500 eggs that hatch within 10 days. Those larvae emerge with a voracious appetite and can defoliate a branch within days – before moving on to eat anything else within reach.

Reaching maturity as quickly as 4 to 5 weeks, the young webworms hungrily move on to fresh pastures to weave their own cocoons and infest the neighboring trees with another hungry brood. These infestations do not generally occur on healthy trees, but if these pests sense any form of weakness in the tree they attack without mercy until they are discovered and removed.

Early detection is crucial to reviving the health of the Hickory Tree and treatment with insecticide soap or compounds like carbaryl or malathion or conducting strategic pruning and maintenance of the infected branches is recommended.

Unfortunately, if the infestation becomes too severe, no amount of insecticidal spraying can save the tree, and then burning will be the only option.

If allowed, a cutting and slash and burn technique can be used to completely eradicate the invasive pests before they can wreak a path of destruction through other types of trees close by once and for all.


Invasive diseases can be just as major a problem as pests, and the most serious for Hickory Trees are cankers (Poria spiculosa).

They display as ugly brown sores around the nubs of dead branches and will literally start to rot the wood in that particular area. From that single spot, they will quickly consume the entire tree if not removed immediately as there is no cure.

Prevention is the only option, fertilizing and watering the Hickory Trees regularly, more so in dry spells.

Anthracnose (Gnomonia caryae) and Witches’-broom (Microstroma juglandis) are two other types that are not as lethal, but just as damaging. They cause blotches on the leaves which will eventually result in defoliation and the build-up of mold.

Fertilization and watering will control the less serious diseases, while cankers need to be confronted early before it’s too late.

Any fallen leaves or twigs at the base of the tree will need to be cleared away to prevent a recurrence of the same problematic diseases the following year.4

How To Grow Hickory Trees (Growing Tips)

Certain preplanning considerations have to be factored into the equation before planting a Hickory Tree, or your neighbor’s car won’t thank you for the damaged bodywork that will ensue when the nuts plummet toward the ground in the fall, thunking hard onto anything in its way.

First, Hickory Trees love full sunlight, but not all are heat tolerant and will shrivel and die if planted in USDA hardiness zones above zone 8, while others are not tough enough to weather freezing cold temperatures.

But what all Hickory Trees have in common is a root system that grows faster than the tree can produce fruits and that requires moist, well-drained soil that will deliver all the nutrients a growing tree will need.

For these factors and more it is important that your Hickory Tree identification skills are at their best.

To start, transplanting a seedling is going to be a faster method of growing a Hickory Tree rather than from seed. But if the seed option is preferred, there is a process that needs to be followed.

The first essential step is called stratification and will last about 4 or 5 months even before the seed gets anywhere near the dirt in your yard. This entails placing the nuts inside a container filled with slightly wet sand and peat moss, then piercing several holes and refrigerating them at a temperature of 40 °F.

Lightly spray with water occasionally during this period and when the roots start to sprout a few months later, they are ready for transplanting and to join the fight against greenhouse gas emissions in the United States of America.

Germinating Hickory Tree Seeds: Soil Needs

Germination of the seeds can be conducted directly into the soil outdoors and this will eliminate the need for stratification but,2 unfortunately, will not shorten the waiting time.

After the stratification process has ended and the roots have appeared, the nuts can be sowed into a nursery pot large enough to accommodate the roots that will start to grow rapidly.

The soil needs to be sterile potting soil and the container needs drainage holes to avoid over-saturation that can harm the fledgling Hickory Tree to be. Once the seeds are sowed, the nursery pot has to be placed in a temperate climate above 70 °F in indirect sunlight.

If an indoor location is preferred, it is possible to use a propagation heating mat that has the advantage of being able to maintain the temperature at a constant level to aid in the growth of the roots.

Sunlight Needs

Sow a maximum of 2 seeds per pot at a depth equal to the length of the seeds and water. In 6-8 weeks remove the weaker seedling.

Transplanting the hickory seedlings is the next step in the process and the best time to do this is in autumn when the temperature is cooler.

Begin by choosing a location that will afford sufficient exposure to sunlight but also accommodate the height that Hickory Trees grow, the spread of the canopies, and the requirements for the soil that will need to be moist and well-draining.

Immerse the new seedlings in a hole that is 3 times bigger than the nursery pot to allow for further root expansion, then fill in the hole and water. Spread a layer of mulch around the base and simply water throughout the summer on a weekly basis.

The Best Hickory Tree Species To Select (Major Species)

The best hickories for ornamental trees are the shagbark, shellbark, bitternut, and pignut, but when selecting any Hickory Tree a large landscape is a requirement rather than a tiny front yard.

Taking years for an immature tree to grow to maturity can give a false impression that it won’t be a giant, but at a rate of the ascension of one foot a year, it can be a towering behemoth in the waiting.

Out of these four Hickory Trees, the shagbark and shellbark are best known for producing the tastiest nuts.

How To Identify Hickory Tree Leaves, Bark, and Seeds: And the Difference Between Pecans

Hickory Trees and pecan trees come from the same genus Carya and are both hardwoods but because pecans actually come from hickories, there is an understandable level of confusion.

There are Hickory Trees that are classed as “true hickory”, which are Shagbark, Shellbark, Pignut, and Mockernut, while the “pecan hickory” include pecan, Bitternut, Nutmeg Hickory, and Water Hickory.

It is nearly impossible to tell the difference when the trees are side by side, but there are telltale signs when the wood has been cut down and sold as lumber, even if the manufacturer has labeled both of them simply as hickories.3

A striation called parenchyma bands is a giveaway if you look closely enough.

This is a method of identifying one hardwood from another by the arrangement of the pores in the end grain and there are essentially three types, ring-porous, diffuse-porous, and semi-ring-porous.

“True hickory” trees are ring-porous, which means the parenchyma bands are localized around the ring. These pores are more noticeable from the end of a log rather than a length of lumber as being more uniform and spaced closer together.

The parenchyma bands found in the “pecan hickory” are less uniform and the rings are spaced further apart.

Both types of lumber are classed as hardwoods, and grow in the same zones, but when it comes down to which one is the toughest, the denser “true hickory” takes the title by a small margin.

Comparing hickory lumber to other hardwoods on the Janka scale demonstrates that it is more suitable for sturdier projects with a hardiness rating of between 1,550 to 2,140 pounds compared to 1,800 to 1,900 pounds for other species.

In North America, there is only one species considered to be tougher than a Hickory Tree, and that’s the Honey Mesquite which has a Janka hardness rating of 2,340.

The Differences in Hickory Nuts and Pecans

Visually there is very little difference between the two and even in the taste the variance is marginal, with some aficionados claiming the pecans have a richer flavor while the hickory nut is more intense.

Nutritionally, however, there are a few more differences.

Hickory NutsPecans
More expensiveCheaper
1.4 times more carbohydrates1.5 times more fiber
Higher protein countHigher fat content
Richer in phosphorus and magnesiumRicher in copper, zinc, and iron
Richer in vitamins A, C, B1, and B5Richer in vitamins B3, B6, E, and K.

Overall, both of them deliver a wide range of benefits from reducing the risk of heart disease and the onset of diabetes in high-risk subjects to helping the body protect itself against ovarian cancer.

What Are the Best Uses of Hickory Trees?

For centuries the nuts specifically from the Shagbark Hickory Tree have been used for sustenance and its timber harvested for constructing a varied array of objects.7 It also served another purpose due to its capacity to burn for a longer period of time than other woods, that of firewood.

A lot of heat was generated when burned, making it very popular at barbecues, and that popularity increased when it was discovered that the smoke emitted from burning the wood infused its smoky fragrance into foods such as bacon and meats to add more flavor.

When coming across a gathering of nuts at the base of an unfamiliar tree, never consume them without knowing for sure that they are safe.

With this Hickory Tree guide, you’ll be able to identify these majestic trees the next time you see them.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hickory Tree

How Many Tree Species Are There of Hickory Trees?

There are 18 species of Hickory Trees, 12 of them native to the United States.

Are All Nuts From Hickory Trees Edible?

Yes, they are, but some species produce nuts that are extremely bitter and not very palatable.

What Are the Ways To Learn How To Tell if a Hickory Nut Is Safe To Eat?

Always inspect for any boreholes that may have been made by insects and if in doubt, immerse the nuts in a bowl of water. Those that sink are intact, while the floaters should be discarded.

How Long Can Hickory Nuts Be Stored?

They can be stored for months in an airtight container. If frozen they can be kept for up to a year.

Are Hickory Trees Deciduous or Evergreen?

They are deciduous with the leaves turning an impressive shade of golden brown at the end of summer before fluttering to the ground.

Do Hickory Trees Live a Long Time?

The average lifespan is 200 years, but some trees have lived for 500 years old.

Who Was Known as “Old Hickory”?

The “Old Hickory” nickname belongs to President Andrew Jackson because of his toughness during the 1812 war.5


1Bioimages. (2023). Carya Fruits (hickory nuts). Bioimages. Retrieved January 21, 2023, from <http://bioimages.vanderbilt.edu/pages/carya-fruits.htm>

2Jauron, R., & Klein, W. (2023). Yard and Garden: Germinating Tree Seeds. Iowa State University. Retrieved January 21, 2023, from <https://www.extension.iastate.edu/news/yard-and-garden-germinating-tree-seeds>

3Missouri Department of Conservation. (2023). HickoriesCarya spp. Missouri Department of Conservation. Retrieved January 21, 2023, from <https://education.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/hickories>

4Moorman, Ph.D., G. W. (2023). Hickory Diseases. PennState Extension. Retrieved January 21, 2023, from <https://extension.psu.edu/hickory-diseases>

5The Ohio State University. (2023). Andrew Jackson (Old Hickory). eHistory. Retrieved January 21, 2023, from <https://ehistory.osu.edu/biographies/andrew-jackson-old-hickory>

6Towson University Glen Arboretum. (2023). Shellbark Hickory Carya laciniosa (Michx. f.) G. Don. Towson University Glen Arboretum. Retrieved January 21, 2023, from <https://wp.towson.edu/glenarboretum/shellbark-hickory/>

7University of Kentucky. (2023). Carya ovata (Shagbark Hickory) Walnut Family (Juglandaceae). University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service. Retrieved January 21, 2023, from <https://eec.ky.gov/Natural-Resources/Forestry/ky-champion-trees/Documents/Hickory%20shagbark.pdf>

8University of Kentucky. (2023). Leaf Feeders. Hickory (Carya). Retrieved January 21, 2023, from <https://www.uky.edu/Ag/Entomology/treepestguide/hickory.html>

9Washington College. (2023). Hickory. Washington College. Retrieved January 21, 2023, from <https://www.washcoll.edu/learn-by-doing/food/plants/juglandaceae/carya.php>

10File:Carya laciniosa Orzesznik siedmiolistkowy 2019-06-01 03.jpg Photo by Agnieszka Kwiecień, Nova. (2019, June 1) / CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED | Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International. Cropped and Resized. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved February 26, 2024, from <https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Carya_laciniosa_Orzesznik_siedmiolistkowy_2019-06-01_03.jpg>

11Carya ovata (Shagbark Hickory) Photo by Plant Image Library. (2017, November 7 ) / CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED | Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic. Resized and Changed Format. Flickr. Retrieved February 26, 2024, from <https://flickr.com/photos/138014579@N08/26470328789>

12File:Carya ovata—shaggy bark.jpg Photo by KATHERINE WAGNER-REISS. (2019, August 23) / CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED | Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International. Cropped and Resized. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved February 26, 2024, from <https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Carya_ovata%E2%80%94shaggy_bark.jpg>

13File:Pignut Hickory Carya glabra Bark.JPG Photo by Avery Ramsey. (2016, April 23) / CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED | Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International. Cropped and Resized. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved February 26, 2024, from <https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pignut_Hickory_Carya_glabra_Bark.JPG>

14Carya illinoinensis (pecan tree) 4 Photo by James St. John. (2018, January 13) / CC BY 2.0 DEED | Attribution 2.0 Generic. Resized and Changed Format. Flickr. Retrieved February 26, 2024, from <https://flickr.com/photos/47445767@N05/38950710384>

15File:Carya tomentosa 12zz.jpg Photo by David J. Stang. (2007, May 8) / CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED | Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International. Resized and Changed Format. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved February 26, 2024, from <https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Carya_tomentosa_12zz.jpg>

16Photo 167732267 Photo by Cazody. (2021, November 6) / CC0 1.0 DEED | CC0 1.0 Universal. Cropped and remixed with image, text, shape, and background elements. iNaturalist. Retrieved Feb 26, 2024, from <https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/167732267>

17Chris Light. (CC BY-SA 4.0). Resized, Changed Format, Cropped. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved from <https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hickory_Kearny_RA_(w)_2016-07-12_151.jpg>

18File:Sand Hickory buds NBG.jpg Photo by PumpkinSky. (2018, January 20) / CC BY-SA 3.0 DEED | Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported. Cropped and Resized. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved February 26, 2024, from <https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sand_Hickory_buds_NBG.jpg>

19Florida-Hickory Photo by Homer Edward Price. (2011, April 22) / CC BY 2.0 DEED | Attribution 2.0 Generic. Resized and Changed Format. Flickr. Retrieved February 26, 2024, from <https://www.flickr.com/photos/28340342@N08/5644199412/>

20Carya myristiciformis (Nutmeg Hickory) Photo by Plant Image Library. (2017 , March 30) / CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED | Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic. Resized and Changed Format. Flickr. Retrieved February 26, 2024, from <https://flickr.com/photos/138014579@N08/33587004922>

21Photo 35507931 Photo by cwhiting. (2019, April 21) / CC BY 4.0 DEED | Attribution 4.0 International. Resized and Changed Format. iNaturalist. Retrieved February 26, 2024, from <https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/35507931>

22Barrels on Trailers Photo by ELEVATE. (2018, July 26) / Pexels License. Resized and Changed Format. Pexels. Retrieved February 26, 2024, from <https://www.pexels.com/photo/barrels-on-trailers-1267359/>

23Photo 43806416 Photo by Daniel Estabrooks. (2019, June 27) / CC0 1.0 DEED | CC0 1.0 Universal. Cropped and remixed with image, text, shape, and background elements. iNaturalist. Retrieved Feb 26, 2024, from   <https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/43806416>

24Photo 54972711 Photo by Douglas Goldman. (2013, September 13) / CC BY 4.0 DEED | Attribution 4.0 International. Cropped and remixed with image, text, shape, and background elements. iNaturalist. Retrieved Feb 26, 2024, from   <https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/54972711>

25Carya ovata Kiev2 Photo by Аимаина хикари. (2014, July 13) / CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. Resize and change format. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved February 20, 2024, from <https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Carya_ovata_Kiev2.jpg>

26Photo 146124360 Photo by John Ambler. (2018, May 27) / CC0 1.0 DEED | CC0 1.0 Universal. Cropped and remixed with image, text, shape, and background elements. iNaturalist. Retrieved Feb 6, 2024, from <https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/146124360>

27Photo 9672313 Photo by Ken Kneidel. (2017, August 10) / CC0 1.0 DEED | CC0 1.0 Universal. Cropped and remixed with image, text, shape, and background elements. iNaturalist. Retrieved Feb 26, 2024, from <https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/9672313>

28Photo 340778090 Photo by Bill Michalek. (2023, August 10) / CC0 1.0 DEED | CC0 1.0 Universal. Cropped and remixed with image, text, shape, and background elements. iNaturalist. Retrieved Feb 26, 2024, from <https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/340778090>

29Photo 43806453 Photo by Daniel Estabrooks. (2019, June 27) / CC0 1.0 DEED | CC0 1.0 Universal. Cropped and remixed with image, text, shape, and background elements. iNaturalist. Retrieved Feb 26, 2024, from <https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/43806453>

30Photo 287761720 Photo by John Kees. (2023, June) / CC0 1.0 DEED | CC0 1.0 Universal. Cropped and remixed with image, text, shape, and background elements. iNaturalist. Retrieved Feb 26, 2024, from <https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/287761720>

31Photo 190328970 Photo by David Peden. (2022, April 24) / CC0 1.0 DEED | CC0 1.0 Universal. Cropped and remixed with image, text, shape, and background elements. iNaturalist. Retrieved Feb 26, 2024, from <https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/190328970>

32Photo 322495803 Photo by Scott Ward. (2023, September) / CC BY 4.0 DEED | Attribution 4.0 International. Cropped and remixed with image, text, shape, and background elements. iNaturalist. Retrieved Feb 26, 2024, from <https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/322495803>

33Photo 221033150 Photo by Nonbinary-Naturalist. (2022, August 8) / CC0 1.0 DEED | CC0 1.0 Universal. Cropped and remixed with image, text, shape, and background elements. iNaturalist. Retrieved Feb 26, 2024, from <https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/221033150>

34Photo 255052097 Photo by Shaun Pogacnik. (2023, February) / CC0 1.0 DEED | CC0 1.0 Universal. Cropped and remixed with image, text, shape, and background elements. iNaturalist. Retrieved Feb 26, 2024, from <https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/255052097>