Yellowbud Hickory aka Bitternut Hickory is an amazing tree full of possibility that is extremely underappreciated. It’s often overlooked because it’s nuts are bitter. However, they’re packed full of oil. The nut itself is approximately 80% oil! The bitterness isn’t oil soluble and huge amounts of perennial oil can be pressed from them with a delicious flavour free of bitterness. Acclaimed forager Sam Thayer has developed a market around this Hickory nut oil in Wisconsin and people love it. We have our own native olive tree, growing freely around us. May this be a lesson to always delve deeper into the status quo of nature….
There is so much misinformation out there about these trees- many government websites even claim that wildlife don’t bother to eat them which if you’ve ever sat near one, you’ll realize this is simply not true. They have thin shells that are easy to crack open. Wildlife go crazy for them, just like they do for bitter acorns. Another common myth is that they take over 30 years to start producing. In an orchard style context (full sun) with adequate care, they can start producing as early as 8 years. Grafted trees could produce even earlier than that. Yellowbud aka Bitternut Hickory is also one of the most widespread species of Hickory in North America. They are also the hardiest among the Hickory genus.
Yellowbud Hickory’s are adaptable species, able to thrive in most soil types except for water logged. They prefer deep rich soils with adequate moisture but are also known to thrive in sandy soils. They are self fertile but will benefit from increased cross pollination from other Yellowbud Hickory trees. We sell these trees small because they have an extensive taproot that becomes too large for transplanting when they are older than 2 years.
|Latin name||Carya cordiformis|
|Sun Requirements||Full sun-part shade|
|Average year to bear fruit||8 (in full sun)|
|Soil||prefers moist soils but needs to be well drained|
|Flower Time||May to June|
|Pollination||Self-fertile but they produce more with multiple trees|