The Shellbark Hickory grows in acidic, alkaline, drought tolerant, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, wet, clay soils.
A native of moist bottomlands and floodplains of the United States, the Shellbark Hickory's wood is hard and strong, and its nut is prized for its sweetness. A tough and sturdy tree, it has a life span of 80 or more years. Trees grown from seed will bear large brown sweet nuts in 10-12 years. The large nut is a wildlife favorite.
The Shellbark Hickory is a high branching tree with a straight, slender trunk, and a narrow, oblong crown. It is sturdy, tree with shaggy bark. The nuts are large and sweet. The tree will bear nuts in 10-12 years and bears annually although generally not heavily. (Self-fertile) zones 5-8)
The leaves of the Shellbark Hickory are eaten by deer and other browsers while the nuts are consumed by deer, bear, foxes, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, wild turkey, and other animals. Produces nectar and/or pollen, thus providing nutrition for bees in early to late spring.
Pinnately compound, 5-9 leaflets, 10"-24" long, dark yellow-green on top.
Large, oval, 1/4" thick husk covers a hard, light brown shell, 1 3/4"-2 1/2" with 4-6 "ribs." The large kernel is sweet. Harvest in fall.