Mockernut hickory, like all hickories, is tap-rooted and thus difficult to transplant. This Illinois native tolerates dry sites fairly well and produces good golden-yellow fall color. It may be difficult to find in nurseries.
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.
All Common Names:
- Residential and parks,
- City parkway,
- Wide median
Tree or Plant Type:
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Chicago area,
- North America
- 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
- Acid soil,
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Dry sites
- May be difficult to find in nurseries
- Fall color,
- Edible fruit,
- Attractive bark
Season of Interest:
- Mid fall,
- Late fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
- Cavity-nesting birds,
- Game birds,
- Migrant birds,
- Small mammals,
Tree & Plant Care
Difficult to transplant due to a deep taproot. Best in slightly acidic soils.
Disease, pests, and problems
No common pests. Sensitive to compacted soils.
Disease, pests, and problem resistance
Tolerant of black walnut toxicity.
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to much of the Midwest and Southeastern United States. Found growing in a variety of soil types.
Bark color and texture
Bark is gray and shallowly ridged and furrowed.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Alternate, compound leaves with 7 to 9 leaflets, with the terminal leaf being the largest. The lower side of the leaf and the leaf stalk are both hairy.
Leaves are medium to yellow green in summer, changing to golden yellow-brown in fall.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Not ornamentally important. male and female flowers in separate structures on the same tree (monoecious). Male flowers in hanging catkins, females in small terminal spikes.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Fruit are edible hickory nuts, each enclosed in a thick husk that splits into four sections. Nuts ripen in fall.