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.
This species is native to the Chicago region according to Swink and Wilhelm's Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research.
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Chicago area,
- North America
- Residential and parks,
- City parkway,
- Wide median
- Shade tree,
- Large tree (more than 40 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8,
- Zone 9
- Moist, well-drained soil
- May be difficult to find in nurseries
- Fall color,
- Edible fruit,
- Attractive bark
- Early winter,
- Mid winter,
- Late winter,
- Early spring,
- Mid spring,
- Late spring,
- Early summer,
- Mid summer,
- Late summer,
- Early fall,
- Mid fall,
- Late fall
- Cavity-nesting birds,
- Game birds,
- Migrant birds,
- Small mammals,
Tree & Plant Care
A long-lived large tree with a straight trunk.
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
Disease, pests and problem resistance
Tolerant of black walnut toxicity.
Native geographic location and habitat
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.