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Shagbark Hickory

Shagbark Hickory

Shagbark Hickory

Carya Ovata

Occurs naturally in Canada in Southern Ontario and along the St. Lawrence River. A slow grower ideally planted as a legacy for future generations. It can take up to 40 years for production of the prized edible nuts to begin. One of the hardest hardwoods in North America. All tree parts produce a small amount of the chemical juglone that inhibit growth of some plants in the root zone. The quantity of juglone, however,  is significantly less than that of a walnut tree. Hickories have both male and female flowers on the same tree and are wind pollinated. Planting two or more trees will improve seed crop quantity through cross pollination. Mast seed crop occur every 3 to 5 years. The tree develops a strong taproot that can make it tricky to transplant.

Additional information




Native to North America


Large (60-100ft)




Irregular, Oval

Growth Rate



Long (over 100 years)

Hardiness Zones *

4, 5

Sun Exposure

Full Sun (over 6 hrs), Mostly Shade (slow growth), Partial Sun (4 to 6 hrs)

Soil Preferences *

Moist, Slightly Acidic, Well Draining

Soil Tolerances

Dry, Slightly Alkaline

Other Tolerances

Occasional Drought, Occasional Flooding

Ornamental Interest


Wildlife Value

Birds (fruits/seeds), Small Mammals (fruits/seeds)

Human Value

Carpentry (wood), Edible (seed), Fuel (wood)

Seed Collection

Ordered Online

Planting Considerations

Allelopathic, Messy Leaf Litter, Messy Seed Litter, Tricky to Transplant

*Useful Links

Hardiness Zones – Canada’s Hardiness Zones

Soil Preferences – Multi-Purpose Soil Tester