Shellbark Hickory (Carya laciniosa), in the Juglandaceae or walnut family, is also called shagbark hickory, bigleaf shagbark hickory, king nut, big, bottom, thick, or western shellbark, attesting to some of its characteristics. It is a slow-growing, long-lived tree, hard to transplant because of its long taproot, and subject to insect damage. Shellbark hickories can grow up to 100 feet tall and are found across the inland eastern United States. The nuts, largest of all hickory nuts, are sweet and edible. Wildlife and people harvest most of them; those remaining produce seedling trees readily. The wood is hard, heavy, strong, and very flexible, making it a favored wood for tool handles.
If Trees Could Sing…
Click here to see Deanie Richardson talk about one of her favorite trees. Video courtesy of The Nature Conservancy and Deanie Richardson.
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