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Carya pallida

Common Name(s):

Description

Sand hickory is a large deciduous tree in the Juglandaceae (walnut) family growing slowly to 100 feet at maturity. It is native to the southeastern United States and often found in dry, sandy, or gravelly soils as the common name suggests. It can be found throughout North Carolina, especially the Sandhills region of the coastal plain. This tree has a straight trunk and a dense crown. The flowers are both male and female; male catkins, 3 to 4 inches long, and female flowers of similar size bloom in early spring season from March to May and range in color from yellow to green to brown. The Sand hickory nut is oval, dark-brown, and typically consumed by rodents, squirrels, and large birds.

Sand hickory prefers moist loam in a sunny sheltered position. This plant has a significant tap root and is difficult to transplant; it should be planted in its permanent position. These trees are relatively late coming into leaf and lose their leaves early in the autumn, but while the leaves are present, the trees cast a heavy shade making them suitable for planting as a shade tree or in a mixed woodland setting.

Diseases, Insect Pests, and Other Plant Problems:

Host plant of Microstroma juglandis a pathogen which can cause the fungal disease Downy Leaf Spot.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#shade tree#large tree#slow growing#native tree#NC native#deciduous tree#edible#wildlife food source
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#shade tree#large tree#slow growing#native tree#NC native#deciduous tree#edible#wildlife food source
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Carya
    Species:
    pallida
    Family:
    Juglandaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The wood is heavy, hard, and tough and has been used for tool handles.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern North America
    Distribution:
    Central and Southwestern United States, Southern Illinois to Oklahoma and Texas.
    Wildlife Value:
    The fruit is eaten by birds and squirrels.
    Edibility:
    The seed can be eaten, raw or cooked, and has a sweet flavor.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Broad
    Erect
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    more than 60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Nut
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Pear-shaped to round nut 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches wide, yellow when young, dark brown when mature in early fall. Rather thin-shelled, the seed is small and sweet and ripens in late autumn. When stored in its shell in a cool place, will keep for at least 6 months.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Catkin
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Petals:
    Bracts
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Moneceious male flowers catkins, female flowers in clusters at the tips of branches, appear in early to mid-spring. Stalks hirsute, scaly, bracts scaly, hirsute at apex; anthers hirsute.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Description:
    Alternate, pinnately compound with 5 to 9 serrated, lance to ovate leaflets. Underside is pale, with silvery scales and pubesent. The leaves are spicily fragrant, similar to other tetraploid hickories of Carya.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Furrowed
    Ridges
    Scaly
    Smooth
    Bark Plate Shape:
    Diamond
    Bark Description:
    Smooth gray bark when young, forming deep furrows and scaly ridges with a diamond shape at maturity.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Buds:
    Hairy
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Lenticels:
    Conspicuous
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Red brown to dark brown with light lenticles, stout branches but more slender than other hickories. Buds are oval shaped with silvery scales and hairs. Leaf scars are three lobed. Terminal buds reddish brown, sparsely to densely scaly; outer bud scales with coarse hairs on midribs.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Design Feature:
    Shade Tree