Carya cordiformis: bitternut hickory [white/yellowbud/pignut h.]

Family: Juglandaceae [walnut], part of the fagoid group.

Form: large, long-lived tree with compound leaves, small nuts; crowns narrow to (upper) spreading; distinctive long yellowish buds.

Range: eastern North America, the most widespread hickory; from Ontario and Quebec to north Florida, but most common in mid-west.

Habitat: woods on moist base-rich soils, formerly abundant on uplands with much sugar / black maple; somewhat shade-tolerant.

Consumers: nuts bitter and rarely sought by squirrels or weevils; plants generally unpalatable to mammals; host to several insects, pests and diseases but severe damage uncommon; wood strong, hard, especially good for furniture & tools, but rots rapidly when exposed.

Growing notes: nuts germinate in spring, remaining bitter as seedlings emerge; growth moderate to fast, especially if resprouting.

Bitternut hickory leaves and seeds
Bitternut Hickory leaves and seeds. Image:


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