Shagbark Hickory

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Shagbark Hickory

Shagbark Hickory produces some of the finest tasting nuts around. They have the best taste among our native nuts in our opinion! They don’t get very much attention as a food crop simply because their nuts are hard to crack, and thousands of pounds of this delicacy drops to the ground in the fall often unnoticed.

There are several ways of processing to get over this hurdle. You can smash up the shell and nut meats into small pieces and then boil them in water creating one of the heartiest nut milks to sip on. The nuts will also float to the top of the water and the shells will sink. You can also use a hard shelled nut cracker, like the duke nut cracker to crack them out. The trees appearance is nothing short of stately, and their bark can also be used to make a syrup. These trees also produce some of the strongest wood around that is used for bows, axe handles, and furniture. Shagbark needs two trees for pollination and will begin to produce between 10-30 years, producing more nuts as they get older. They prefer moist soil that drains well, but are tolerant of most soils if they have adequate nutrients.

Latin name Carya sp.
Hardiness Zone 4
Height 80 ft
Spread30 ft
Sun RequirementsFull sun-part shade
Average year to bear fruit10-30
Harvest Timefall
Soil prefers moist soils but tolerant of most if there’s adequate nutrition
Flower Time May to June
Pollination Self-fertile