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Carya tomentosa - (Poir.)Nutt.

Common Name Mockernut,White Heart Hickory, Mockernut Hickory
Family Juglandaceae
USDA hardiness 4-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Mainly along ridges, dry hills and hillsides, growing best in rich well-drained soils[229].
Range Eastern N. America - Massachusetts to Ontario, south to Florida 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 tomentosa Mockernut,White Heart Hickory, Mockernut  Hickory


W.D. Brush @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database
Carya tomentosa Mockernut,White Heart Hickory, Mockernut  Hickory
W.D. Brush @ 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 tomentosa is a deciduous Tree growing to 30 m (98ft 5in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. It is in leaf from June to November, in flower in June, and the seeds ripen in October. 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 and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

C. alba. non Nutt. Juglans tomentosa.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Canopy;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Sap  Seed
Edible Uses:

Seed - raw or cooked[1, 43, 101, 159]. A delicious sweet taste but the thick, hard shell makes extraction very difficult[2, 183, 226]. The kernel is quite small considering the size of the nut[226]. Even squirrels leave the seed to accumulate under trees[117, 183]. The seed can be up to 6cm long[229]. The seed ripens in late autumn and, when stored in its shell in a cool place, will keep for at least 6 months[K]. Sap - used as a drink. Tapped in spring, it has a sweet flavour[101].

Medicinal Uses

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Astringent  Detergent

The inner bark is astringent and detergent[257]. It has been used as a dressing for cuts and has also been chewed to treat sore mouths[257].

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Other Uses

Dye  Fuel  Repellent  Wood

A black dye is obtained by boiling the bark in a vinegar solution[229]. A beige dye is extracted from the leaves and twigs, cream of tartar is required as a mordant[226]. A yellow dye is obtained from the bark when alum is used as a mordant[226]. The inner bark has been used to finish baskets and to make chair bottoms[257]. The leaves have been scattered about to repel insects[257]. Wood - close-grained, tough, elastic, very heavy, hard[61, 82, 227, 229]. It weighs 51lb per cubic foot[227]. The wood has excellent bending qualities and can withstand compression better than most other woods[229]. One of the best hickory woods, it is an important commercial timber and is used for vehicle parts, tool handles, fuel etc[61, 63, 82, 227, 229].

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Aggressive surface roots possible. Prefers a deep moisture-retentive loam in a sunny sheltered position, requiring a good summer for best development[1, 63, 137, 200]. Succeeds in poor soils[63] and in drier soils than many other members of the genus[200]. Generally a slow growing tree[200] though it is fast when young[149]. Trees respond well to coppicing[149]. A very ornamental and long-lived tree[1, 227], it is quite successful in Britain[137] and has been planted on an experimental scale for its timber in Germany[50]. 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 in the wild commence fruiting when about 20 years old, with an optimum seed bearing age from 40 - 150 years, though they often live for 300 - 500 years[229]. Trees are self-fertile but larger crops of better quality seeds are produced if cross-pollination takes place[229]. 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)[137], but lose their leaves later in the autumn than other Carya species229]. 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]. 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 :

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Author

(Poir.)Nutt.

Botanical References

1143200

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