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Carya ovata - (Mill.)K.Koch.

Common Name Shagbark Hickory
Family Juglandaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Dry upland slopes, rich deep moist soils and well drained soils of lowland and valleys[43, 62, 82].
Range Eastern N. America - Quebec to Ontario, south to Florida, Kansas and Texas.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Carya ovata Shagbark Hickory


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Abrahami
Carya ovata Shagbark Hickory
USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

 

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Summary

Bloom Color: Green. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Oval.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Carya ovata is a deciduous Tree growing to 30 m (98ft) by 15 m (49ft) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. It is in leaf from June to October, in flower in June, and the seeds ripen from October to November. The species is monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and is pollinated by Wind. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Synonyms

C. alba. (L.)Nutt. non Koch. Juglans ovata.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Canopy;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Sap;  Seed.
Edible Uses: Milk.

Seed - raw or cooked and used in pies, cakes, bread etc[2, 4, 61, 62, 183]. Sweet and delicious[1, 117, 183]. The seed can be ground into a meal and used to thicken soups etc[183]. A nut milk can be prepared from the seed and this is used as a butter on bread, vegetables etc[183]. The shell is normally thick and hard[101] but in selected cultivars it can be thin[159]. The seed ripens in late autumn and can be stored for up to 2 years in a cool cellar[117]. The seed is up to 4cm long[229]. Sap - sweet[257]. It is tapped in spring[101] and can be made into a syrup[226].

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Analgesic;  Antirheumatic.

The fresh small shoots have been steamed to make an inhalant for treating headaches[257]. A decoction of the bark has been taken internally to treat rheumatism and also used as a poultice on rheumatic joints[257].

Other Uses

Dye;  Fuel;  Wood.

A yellow dye is obtained from the inner bark[226]. Wood - close-grained, tough, elastic, heavy and very hard. It weighs 52lb per cubic foot[227]. An excellent quality wood, it is used for tool handles, wheel spokes, sporting goods, baskets etc[46, 61, 63, 82, 227, 229]. The wood is an excellent fuel, burning well and giving off a lot of heat[229]. It produces an excellent charcoal[229].

Cultivation details

Management: Standard;  Regional Crop;  Staple Crop: Oil.

Landscape Uses:Firewood, Pest tolerant, Aggressive surface roots possible, Specimen. Prefers a deep moisture-retentive loam in a sunny sheltered position, requiring a good summer for best development[1, 63, 137, 200]. Succeeds in drier soils than most members of this genus[200]. Slow growing[200]. A very ornamental but slow-growing tree[1, 11, 227], it grows well in Britain, especially when young[11, 137], and does well in Cornwall[59]. The tree has a loose grey bark that comes away in broad flakes and gives the tree its common name[11]. The shagbark hickory is occasionally cultivated for its edible seed, there are some named varieties[183]. It tends to be low-yielding[117] and is said to be of no value in Britain as a commercial nut crop[11]. Trees take 15 years to come into flower from seed[117]. This species is the fastest growing hickory in N. America, it can fruit in ten years from seed[137]. Recommended cultivars (these are often hybrids with C. cathayensis or C. laciniosa) include:- Shagbarks - 'J Yoder No. 1', heavy cropping and early[200]. 'Porter'. 'Weschcke', a very thin shell and regular cropper[200]. 'Wilcox', an excellent producer[200]. Shellbarks (these are more likely to be hybrids with C. laciniosa) - 'Fayette', thin shelled[200]. 'Henry', a very large nut[200]. Cultivated as a timber tree in C. Europe[50]. Plants are strongly tap-rooted and should be planted in their permanent positions as soon as possible[1, 137]. Sowing in situ would be the best method so long as the seed could be protected from mice[1, 200]. Trees are late coming into leaf (usually late May to June) and lose their leaves early in the autumn (usually in October)[137]. During this time they cast a heavy shade. These factors combine to make the trees eminently suitable for a mixed woodland planting with shrubs and other trees beneath them[137]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. Most species in this genus have quite a wide range of distribution and, in order to find trees more suited to this country, seed from the most appropriate provenances should be sought[137]. Most trees growing in Britain at present tend to only produce good seed after hot summers[137]. Trees are self-fertile but larger crops of better quality seeds are produced if cross-pollination takes place[229]. The leaves are aromatic[245]. Special Features:North American native, Attractive flowers or blooms.

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Propagation

Seed - requires a period of cold stratification. It is best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe[78]. Stored seed should be kept moist (but not wet) prior to sowing and should be sown in a cold frame as soon as possible[78]. Where possible, sow 1 or 2 seeds only in each deep pot and thin to the best seedling. If you need to transplant the seedlings, then do this as soon as they are large enough to handle, once more using deep pots to accommodate the tap root. Put the plants into their permanent positions as soon as possible, preferably in their first summer, and give them some protection from the cold for at least the first winter[78, K]. Seed can also be sown in situ so long as protection is given from mice etc and the seed is given some protection from cold[200] (a plastic bottle with the top and bottom removed and a wire mesh top fitted to keep the mice out is ideal)

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Carya aquaticaWater Hickory10
Carya buckleyiBlack hickory20
Carya carolinae-septentrionalisSouthern Shagbark, Southern shagbark hickory20
Carya cathayensisChinese Hickory30
Carya cordiformisBitternut, Bitternut hickory, Swamp Hickory31
Carya floridanaScrub Hickory20
Carya glabraSweet Pignut, Pignut hickory, Broom Hickory, Pignut Hickory30
Carya glabra megacarpaCoastal Pignut Hickory30
Carya illinoinensisPecan41
Carya laciniosaShellbark Hickory31
Carya myristiciformisNutmeg Hickory20
Carya ovalisSweet Pignut30
Carya pallidaSand Hickory31
Carya texanaBlack Hickory20
Carya tomentosaMockernut,White Heart Hickory, Mockernut Hickory31
Carya x laneyi 30
Platycarya strobilacea 10
Pterocarya fraxinifoliaCaucasian Wingnut11
Pterocarya rhoifoliaJapanese Wingnut10
Pterocarya stenopteraChinese wingnut02
Sclerocarya birreaMarula33

 

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Expert comment

Author

(Mill.)K.Koch.

Botanical References

1143200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Marion Miller Jr   Fri Jul 11 2008

Our shag bark hickory tree (very old) has suddenly begun loosing its bark. We have lived here for ten years and have never seen this (occasional loose bark from high winds.) Is our tree sick?

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