Most of the seven nut-bearing species in Quebec are not walnuts. They are hickories and have the scientific name Carya. Carya cordiformis is the most common of our five species of hickory. Commonly referred to as the bitternut hickory, it is sometimes called the pignut. Its nuts are so bitter tasting that even squirrels don't seem to like them. The bitternut is a tall tree, reaching heights of up to 66 feet (20 metres), and has a very sturdy trunk. The species is widely distributed in the eastern United States and southern Qu├ębec.

Hickory wood is heavy, hard, and strong. Many years ago, it was used to make wagon wheels. Today's uses include tool handles, sports equipment, and furniture parts. When burned, hickory gives off more heat than any other wood and produces very little ash. Hickory chips are also used to smoke meat.

Other hickories found in Quebec are the shagbark, mockernut, shellbark, and pignut.


Photo - leaf

Leaves, alternate and compound.


Photo - fruit

Fruits, bitter nuts.