Shagbark hickory (Carya ovata)

Shagbark hickory leaves

Click on the images help you identify an Shagbark hickory.



A large tree reaching heights of 60' to 100' and a diameter of up to 24"; irregular, round-topped crown; trunk is frequently divided.


Rougher than that of other hickories; shaggy, light gray, and separating into thick, vertical strips that are only slightly attached to the tree. Twigs are smooth or clothed with short hairs.


Alternate on stem, length 8" to 15", pinnately compound with five (rarely seven) ovate leaflets that have finely toothed margins; dark, yellowish green leaves turn golden yellow in autumn.

Fruit (seed)

A nut that is oval in shape and has an outer husk that splits into four sections when ripe, revealing the single, white, thin-shelled nut whose sweet kernel is edible.


Confined entirely to the southeastern corner of the state, extending northward into Wabasha County; thrives on rich, damp soil and is found along streams and on most hillsides; shade tolerant when young, moderately shade intolerant when mature; slow growing.

Wood uses

Heavy, strong; used for tool handles, wagon wheels, skis, baskets, and charcoal.

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