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Similar but less problematic plants:
Carya ovata Form
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Tilia americana Tilia americana
Carya glabra Form
Quercus nigra Form

Squarenut Carya tomentosa

Previously known as:

  • Carya alba
Phonetic Spelling
KAIR-yuh toh-men-TOH-suh
Description

Mockernut Hickory is a large deciduous tree that is native to eastern and central USA and can be found in all areas of NC. It is fairly slow growing and will reach heights of  50 to 80 feet tall or more. The crown is rounded and dense. The tree takes 25 years before producing the edible nut but can continue producing for 200 years. It is a strong, straight trunk tree and the wood is used to make various items and for firewood. 

This tree is adaptable to both sandy and clay loam with good drainage and is drought tolerant once established. It does best in full sun in rich moist soil with lots of room to grow. A deep taproot makes it difficult to transplant.

Use this tree in a park, large yard for shade or naturalized areas.

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems:  Generally no serious problems.  Potential insects are: hickory bark beetle, pecan weevil, borers and twig girdler.  Whiteheart rot, anthracnose, leaf blotch, powdery mildew, leaf spot, cankers, catlin blight, crown gall, and scab are occasional diseases. 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#shade tree#wildlife plant#native tree#moths#cover plant#squirrels#edible nuts#furniture wood#nuts#small mammals#food source#low flammability#NC native#chipmunks#black bears#fire resistant#pollinator plant#Braham Arboretum#parks#larval host plant#food source fall#food source herbage#bird friendly#food source hard-mast fruit#butterfly friendly#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#shade tree#wildlife plant#native tree#moths#cover plant#squirrels#edible nuts#furniture wood#nuts#small mammals#food source#low flammability#NC native#chipmunks#black bears#fire resistant#pollinator plant#Braham Arboretum#parks#larval host plant#food source fall#food source herbage#bird friendly#food source hard-mast fruit#butterfly friendly#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Carya
    Species:
    tomentosa
    Family:
    Juglandaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Used as lumber, pulpwood, charcoal, fuelwood, veneer, ladder rungs, athletic goods, agricultural implements, dowels, gymnasium apparatus, poles, shafts, well pumps, furniture, pallets, blocking
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    S. Ontario to Central & E. U.S.A
    Distribution:
    AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , MO , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , WV
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    The Mockernut hickory is a host plant for Banded Hairstreak butterfly and many moths.  The nuts are eaten by squirrels, chipmunks and black bears. Fruit is consumed by wood ducks, red-bellied woodpeckers, red fox, squirrels, beaver, eastern cottontail, eastern chipmunk, turkey, white-tailed deer, wild turkey, and white-footed mice. Provide cavities for woodpeckers, black ratsnake, raccoons, and carolina chickadees
    Play Value:
    Edible fruit
    Wildlife Cover/Habitat
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Deer. Fire in the landscape. Heat and drought tolerant.
    Edibility:
    Nuts are edible by humans but shells are hard to crack
    Dimensions:
    Height: 60 ft. 0 in. - 80 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 40 ft. 0 in. - 60 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Native Plant
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Broad
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    more than 60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Nut
    Fruit Description:
    4-segmented husks are 1.5-3 inches wide and are green maturing to yellow then brown. Contains 1 light brown oval slightly compressed nut with a thick shell and edible seeds. Displays in October.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Catkin
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
    Flower Description:
    It has both male and female flowers that are non-showy. The male flowers are drooping greenish-yellow catkins up to 6" long. The female flowers are on short spikes with a feathery reddish stigmata being exerted from the green calyx. Blooms from April to May.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    9-20 inch long compound leaves are alternate, odd-pinnate and dark yellowish-green. They have 5 to 7 toothed ovate-lanceolate leaflets that are 3-6 inches long by 1-2 inches wide. Bases are cuneate to rounded and tips are tapered and acute. Undersides have hairs. The stem is covered with resinous, pungent hairs and is aromatic when cut or bruised. The leaves turn an attractive yellow in fall.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Brown
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Furrowed
    Ridges
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    The bark of both young and old trees exhibit smooth, rounded interlacing ridges with shallow furrows.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Bud Terminal:
    Only 1 terminal bud, larger than side buds
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    The bark of branches is gray and smooth. Twigs are gray to grayish brown and stout. Young shoots are light green, light brown, or brown, densely pubescent. The terminal buds are up to 1/2 inch, ovoid, with brown scales with hairs.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Naturalized Area
    Recreational Play Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Edible Garden
    Native Garden
    Design Feature:
    Shade Tree
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Fire
    Problems:
    Messy