Shellbark Hickory, Shagbark Hickory, Bigleaf Shagbark Hickory, Kingnut, Big Shellbark, Bottom Shellbark, Thick Shellbark, Western Shellbark Carya laciniosa

Detailed Listing For
Botanical Name:

Carya laciniosa







Common Name:

Shellbark Hickory, Shagbark Hickory, Bigleaf Shagbark Hickory, Kingnut, Big Shellbark, Bottom Shellbark, Thick Shellbark, Western Shellbark

100 feet
Minimum Hardiness Zone:

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  • Carya laciniosa

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Growing Info, follow in order:
Scarification: Soak in water, let stand in water for 24 hours, repeat process daily for 4 days.
Stratification: cold stratify for 120 days.
Germination: sow 1-2" deep, , mulch the seed bed, can be sown outdoors in the fall for spring germination, remove mulch upon germination.
In a Nutshell:
* Shellbark hickory ( Carya laciniosa ) in the Juglandaceae or Walnut family is also called shagbark hickory , bigleaf shagbark hickory , kingnut , big , bottom , thick , or western shellbark , attesting to some of its characteristics. It is a slow-growing long-lived tree, hard to transplant because of its long taproot.
* Sweet fruit; straight trunk; likes deep, rich soil; doesn't mind wet conditions; gray bark splits into long plates, which dangle from the tree; native from New York south and west to Tennessee and Oklahoma.
* The seed is eaten raw or cooked in pies, cakes etc. Sweet, with a very fine flavour, it has the largest seeds of the hickories, up to 5cm long. Probably the finest flavoured hickory. more...
* A specimen tree has been reported in Missouri with 117 cm (46.2 in) in d.b.h. , 36.9 m (121 ft) tall, and a spread of 22.6 m (74 ft).
* The wood is hard, heavy, strong, and very flexible, making it a favored wood for tool handles. more...

Hickory Family (Caryaceae). This species is a native tree 20-30(40) m tall, with an open, round to oblong crown; twigs thick, orange-brown, rustyhairy when young, becoming glabrous, with a large, elongate terminal bud; bark initially smooth and light gray with shallow interlacing ridges, later developing long, broad, loosely attached plates attached at the middle and curving away from the trunk, resulting in a coarsely shaggy appearance. The leaves are deciduous, alternate, pinnately compound, (3)5-9 dm long, with a usually hairy rachis, leaflets (5)7-9(11), obovate to oblong-lanceolate, 9-20 cm long, the terminal usually much larger than the lateral, acuminate, coarsely toothed, without tufts of hair on the teeth, shiny dark green above, paler and soft-hairy beneath and scaly with abundant large peltate scales and small round peltate scales. The male (staminate) flowers are in slender, yellow-green, pendent spikes (catkins) to 20 cm long, female (pistillate) flowers are short, in clusters of 2-5 at branch tips; male and female flowers borne separately but on the same tree (the species monoecious). Fruits are tan to brown, spherical to ellipsoid, not compressed or slightly so, 4.5-6 long, 4-5 cm wide, the husks minutely hirsute, 7-13 mm thick, divided all the way to the base into 4 sections; nuts large, 4-angled, cream colored, thickshelled (4 mm). The common name is in reference to the mature bark that peels away like a shell, albeit in strips. It is also called kingnut hickory, because it has the largest nut of all hickories.

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