Hickory, Shellbark Carya laciniosa

Shellbark Hickory - Carya laciniosa
+More Photos

An attractive, high-branching tree. Large brown sweet nuts. Likes moist soil. Grows 60'–80' tall, 40' spread. (self-fertile) (zones 5-8)

Pricing Information

Click icons for more information.

Show All | Hide All

Zones 5 - 8 Zones 5 - 8
Hardiness Zones 5 - 8
The Shellbark Hickory can be expected to grow in the zones shown in color in the zone map. View Map
Nut Tree Nut Tree
Type of tree
Nut Trees
60' - 80' High 60' - 80' High
Mature Height
The Shellbark Hickory grows to be 60' - 80' feet in height.
40' Spread 40' Spread
Mature Spread
The Shellbark Hickory has a spread of about 40' at full maturity.
Slow Growth Slow Growth
Growth Rate
This tree grows at a slow growth rate. More about this.
Full Sun Full Sun
This hickory does well in full sun.
Various Soils Various Soils
The Shellbark Hickory grows in acidic, alkaline, drought tolerant, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, wet, clay soils.
Oval Shape Oval Shape
This hickory has oval, rounded shape.

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's a 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)

Wildlife Value

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.

Flower Color


Bloom Time


Fruit Description

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.