Shagbark Hickory

Photo of the Tree

The shagbark hickory grows in southern Ontario and Quebec, as well as in the central United States. This majestic tree grows 99 feet high (30 metres) and can live about 200 years.

Its oval leaf consists of 5 to 7 very pointed leaflets.

Its globular fruit has a thick husk. The kernel or meat of the nut is edible, and is coveted by squirrels and chipmunks, the gourmands of the forest. These rodents stockpile large quantities of nuts under dead leaves in the fall, which promotes reproduction of the species.

The bark on the shagbark hickory is gray and readily separates into long plates, providing butterflies with an ideal site for wintering over.

The shagbark hickory grows best on moist fertile sites and is generally found mixed with other broadleaf trees. On very moist, fertile soils in the Mississippi valley, the shagbark hickory can grow to 165 feet (50 metres) in height and live up to 300 years.

Its wood is used in carpentry and to make carts and wheelbarrows. It is also used to manufacture skis, an essential piece of equipment for a very popular sport these days.


Leaf

Photo - Leaf

Leaves, alternate, 5-7 pointed leaflets.

Fruit

Photo - fruit

Fruit, nuts, important food for squirrels.