Shagbark Hickory (Carya ovata)



This true hickory gets its name from the bark that peels back vertically in long shaggy strips.  It is a difficult species to establish, but well worth the trouble, as the nuts are edible, and mature trees produce nuts in abundance.  Shagbark is found on rich moist soils, on hillsides and in mixed forests with other broadleaf trees.  It grows to a height of 25 metres and can live to 200 years.  The tree has a straight trunk that does not branch out until very high up, and the crown has ascending branches.  Once established, shagbark hickory is relatively fast-growing.  Hickories are excellent for backyards or naturalization areas.  They benefit from some shade when they are small seedlings, but soon become able to withstand the sun.