Bitternut Hickory (Carya cordiformis), also sometimes called the swamp hickory, comes from the same family as the Pecan Tree, Juglandaceae, or the Walnut family. Like most other hickories, this tree produces a hard-husked fruit, this one being bitter, hence the tree’s name. These fruits (or nuts, as they are colloquially called) are not often used in recipes, due to their bitter taste. Additionally, the tree’s wood has many historical and modern uses. Native Americans construct bows from the wood, while its durable wood is also used to make furniture, tools, and ladders. Like other hickory wood, the wood from the Bitternut Hickory can be used to smoke meat. The Bitternut Hickory has the shortest lifespan of all the hickory trees, only around 200 years.
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Photos taken at Old Town June 2022.