Carya laciniosa: shellbark hickory [big shagbark, kingnut]
Family: Juglandaceae [walnut], part of the fagoid group.
Form: large, long-lived tree with compound leaves, big nuts; crowns rather narrow, columnar in sun; small shaded trees much less dense.
Range: east-central USA (+ Ontario), especially central Mississippi and Ohio River drainages; across most of Kentucky except the east.
Habitat: woods on moist to damp base-rich lowlands, also woodland -pastures and fencerows on Bluegrass uplands; somewhat shade-tolerant.
Consumers: nuts much sought by squirrels and weevils; plants generally unpalatable to mammals, and tolerant of even dense cattle browsing; host to several insects, pests and diseases but severe damage uncommon; wood strong but rots rapidly when exposed.
Growing notes: nuts germinate in spring, becoming very bitter as seedlings emerge; growth often slow to moderate, unless resprouting.