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Carya glabra

Pronunciation: Kair-ee-uh glay-bruh
Family: Juglandaceae (walnut family
Common Name: Pignut hickory
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
Height to: 60-80'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
Sun Exposure:
  • part sun
  • full sun
Bloom Description: The leaves are without hairs and dark yellowish green above, paler beneath, turning rich golden yellow in fall. The dark gray bark is thin and, in mature trees, broken into flattened diamond shaped scales by a network of shallow crisscrossing fissures. The male flowers are in hanging catkins and produce enormous quantities of pollen which is dispersed by wind to the female flowers which are borne in clusters at the tips of branches. The dark brown husk of the fruit is 1-2 in (2. 5-5 cm) long, smooth and splitting open only partially at maturity. The nut, about 1 in (2. 5 cm) long, is slightly f
Plant Perks:
  • Fragrant
  • Drought Tolerant
Propagation: Hickories have very long taproots and are thus difficult to maintain in containers and difficult to transplant successfully. Propagate pignut hickory from seed. The best way is to plant the nut in a large, deep container (or better yet in the ground where you want it to grow) and leave outside through the winter. The nuts will germinate in spring and develop a long taproot, with only minimal above ground growth the first year. The little tree will begin to grow above ground in its second year.
Native to: Pignut hickory is probably the most abundant hickory in eastern north america, with a range extending from southern ontario to central florida and west to iowa and east texas. It grows on well drained sites, on ridges and in pastures, and especially in mixed hardwood forests along with blackgum (nyssa sylvatica) and several species of oak, including red oak (quercus rubra), black oak, post oak and white oak (quercus alba).
Notes for Identification: Source: floridata - the hickories are seldom planted in managed landscapes because of their slow growth, large size and penchant for dropping enormous quantities of leaves and fruit. The very long taproot makes them exceedingly difficult to transplant. However, if you already have a pignut hickory in your landscape, you have a fine specimen tree and one that will reward with deep golden fall color that persists for several weeks in october and november. Pignut hickory grows fairly fast (compared to other hickories) on good sites with ample moisture, first bearing in 20-40 years and peaking in productivity around 100 years of age. Some specimens have been dated at over 400 years of age. The nuts are an important food for wildlife, but are too small, too bitter and encased in too thick a shell for most people. The light brown wood is hard and dense, and used for construction, tool handles, athletic equipment, fuel, smoking meats and for charcoal.
Seed photo: 1
Located in: Seed Photos
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