Shagbark Hickory (Carya ovata ) is a large deciduous tree that typically grows 70-90’ tall with an irregular, oval-rounded crown. At maturity trunk reach to 2-3’ in diameter. This tree features smooth, medium yellow-green, odd-pinnate, compound leaves, each leaf having 5 (less frequently 7 or 9) finely-toothed. The tree is monoecious, greenish yellow flowers appear in April-May, the male flowers in pendulous catkins 3-5” long and the female flowers in short spikes. Female flowers give way to edible oval-rounded nuts. Each nut is encased in a moderately thick husk which splits open in four sections when ripe in fall. Nuts were an important food source to Native Americans and early settlers, and are commercially sold today.
Shagbark Hickory Tree
Shagbark hickory (Caya ovata) is a large deciduous tree. The nuts are edible and have a very sweet taste and an excellent flavor. Trees live more than 350 year and come to production slowly. They produce good crop every 3-5 years.
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General Tree Height/Caliper: Most of our fruit trees (apple, peach, apricot, plum, pear, nectarine, quince, and cherry) are grafted/budded and are 4-6' tall with a caliper/diameter of about 1/4-3/4". Most have more than 5' height and 1/2" diameter. The other trees are seedlings, such as pawpaw, mulberry, persimmon, shade, berry, and flowering trees which range from 18-36" tall.
A rootstock primarily controls a tree's size and how early it bears fruit. Learn more about our specific rootstocks.