Plant a shagbark hickory in a large landscape for excellent shade. This Midwest native is named for its bark, which peels away in large, flat, curving plates, giving the tree a shaggy appearance. As a member of the walnut family, the hickory produces edible nuts.
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Chicago area
- North America
- Zone 4
- Zone 5
- Zone 6
- Zone 7
- Zone 8
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
- Partial sun (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Dry sites
- Occasional drought
- Occasional flooding
- Road salt
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Large tree (more than 40 feet)
- Early winter
- Mid winter
- Late winter
- Early fall
- Mid fall
- Late fall
Size and Form
60 to 80 feet high and 40 to 50 feet wide; irregular to oval form
Tree & Plant Care
A long-lived large tree with straight trunks.
Best grown in well-drained soil in large landscapes.
Develops a long taproot, making it difficult to transplant.
Disease, pests and problems
No serious problems
Native geographic location and habitat
Found in upland woodlands and savannas.
Attracts birds & butterflies
Larval host for the banded hairstreak butterfly.
Bark color and texture
Mature trees have gray bark that exfoliates in long flat plates with outwardly curving ends giving the tree a shaggy appearance; shaggy bark has year-round appeal.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Alternate, 8 to 14 inches long pinnately compound leaves with 5 to 7 leaflets with serrated margins
Terminal buds are 1inch long and hairy.
Fall color is golden brown.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Relatively inconspicuous; tiny male flowers in 3 to 4 inch long, pendulous catkin; small female flowers are in terminal spikes.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Fruit is a rounded nut with a thick four-sectioned husk.
Edible nut ripens in the fall.