Bitternut Hickory (Carya cordiformis)



Bitternut Hickory is a medium-sized tree common to Eastern Ontario that grows between 15 to 25 meters in height.  It is drought-tolerant, and can live up to 150 years.  The tree has a long central trunk with slender upright branches, that form a rounded crown.  There are two main groups of hickories – true hickories and pecan hickories, with bitternut being in the pecan hickory group.  Hickory does well on moist low areas, or on higher ground if the soil is rich.  In the forest it is often found in small groups mixed with other deciduous trees.  A sheltered planting spot is best for this tree, and it is moderately shade-tolerant – meaning it does not like full sun. The nuts are bitter, as the name suggests, although squirrels will eat them.