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Carya glabra

Common Name(s):
Pignut hickory
Native Plants, Trees

The Carya glabra is a deciduous tree that may grow to 80 to 90 feet tall.  The bark on young trees is smooth with shallow cracks.  As the tree ages, the bark develops flat, sharp-edged ridges that form diamond and x-patterns.  

It is not commonly planted for ornamental purposes. A tall shade tree for large properties and parks. Wood is strong and has been used in the past for yokes, wheels, tool handles, ladders and furniture. The wood is an excellent firewood and is also harvested for lumber.

Regions:  Mountains, Piedmont, Coastal Plain

Seasons of Interest:

     Leaves: Alternate, compound      Bloom:   Spring    Fruit/Seed/Nut: Seed/Host

Wildlife Value:  The Pignut hickory is a host plant for Banded hairstreak Butterfly and many moths. The nuts are eaten by squirrels, chipmunks, black bear, deer, foxes, mice, wood ducks.  This tree is moderately deer resistant.

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems:  There are no serious insect or disease problems. Hickory bark beetle, pecan weevil, borers and twig girdler can be problems in some areas of its range. White heart rot, anthracnose, leaf blotch, powdery mildew, leaf spot, cankers, catkin blight, crown gall, and scab are occasional diseases. Large trees can produce considerable litter through twig, leaf, and fruit (nut) drop.

80-90 ft.
The Pignut Hickory has very short, yellow-green, slim, cylindrical flowers cluster mature at the end of branches in the spring. The tree produces a nut that matures in the fall.
The Pignut Hickory is best grown in humusy, rich, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best performance occurs in moist soils. This tree is generally intolerant of shade. This tree needs a large space within which to grow. It may be difficult to transplant because of its long taproot.
Regular, open, oval head; slender, contorted branches
Sun, light shade
25-35 ft.
Growth Rate:
The leaves of the Pignut Hickory are 8 to 12 inches, alternate, pinnately compound leaves with 5-7 leaflets. They turn a golden yellow color in the fall.
butterfly, shade tree, deciduous, street tree, deer resistant

NCCES plant id: 1935

Carya glabra Carya glabra
Kristine Paulus, CC BY - 2.0
Carya glabra Carya glabra
Jamie Richmond, CC BY - 2.0
Carya glabra Carya glabra
Homer Edward Price-, CC BY - 2.0
Carya glabra Carya glabra
H. C. Williams, CC BY - 2.0
Carya glabra Carya glabra
Suzanne Caldwell, CC BY-NC-2.0