Bareroot sales are done for spring but potted plants are still available at the nursery!

Shellbark Hickory

Shellbark Hickory

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Species: Carya laciniosa

History: Shellbark Hickory can be found naturally growing in scattered pockets of sourthern Ontario and parts of the northern and central United States. It is relatively uncommon in its native range due to its poor seed dispersal and human activity has made the tree even more rare. A wide variety of wildlife feeds on the nuts, the largest among the hickories, and there are some plantations although it is not commonly grown commercially as the nuts are quite difficult to crack. The wood which is hard and strong yet flexible, is used to make furniture and tool handles while the inner bark has been used by indigenous peoples to make items such as baskets and snowshoes.

Why We Grow It: Although difficult to crack, it is worth the effort to access the sweet nuts which are great eaten raw or baked into pies like pecans. The tree itself is quite attractive with unique bark that looks like it is flaking or peeling in strips once the tree matures.

Canadian Hardiness Zone: 5

Soil Preference: Loamy and sandy soils

Growth Habits and Disease Resistance: Tree reaches 18-25m tall, low vigour. Generally resistant to pest and diseases.

Sun/Shade: Full sun (approx. 8-10 hours of sun daily)

Pollination: Self-pollinating, this tree will produce nuts without another Shellbark Hickory nearby but will produce more and better nuts if one is present   

Flowering Time: Spring

Bloom Colour: Green

Ripens: Fall, ripe nuts will fall to the ground or can be shaken from the tree

Storage: Keep up to a year when stored correctly

Recommended Use: Fresh eating, cooking, baking, feeding wildlife, lumber

Height Above Soil:

  • ~10cm
  • 15-30cm
Quantity must be 1 or more

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