Carya ovata Shagbark Hickory

Description: A broadly conical, deciduous tree up to 20m tall, the large leaves usually have five leaflets and turn golden yellow in autumn. Bark of young trees is grey to brown and smooth, but exfoliates in long strips with age. Flowers in spring with the male catkins up to 12cm long, followed by thick-shelled nuts up to 6cm long, edible when ripe. Fruits in Britain after hot summers.

History: In cultivation since 1629.

Carya Growing Tips: Best grown in humus rich, moist, well-drained loams in full sun to part shade. Needs a very large space within which to grow.

Height and Spread (after 10 years): 5m x 3m


  • Deciduous
  • Leaf colour: Green
  • M Size: Medium
  • Attractive bark
  • Fruit for wildlife
  • Open space planting
  • Autumn colour
  • Needs well-draining site

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