Shagbark Hickory

Carya ovata

Soil Preference: Moist, well-drained soil. Light Exposure: Full sun, Partial sun/shade

Shagbark Hickory

Carya ovata, the shagbark hickory, is a common hickory in the Eastern United States and southeast Canada. It is a large, deciduous tree, growing well over 100 ft (30 m) tall, and can live more than 350 years. The leaves of the shagbark are 15 to 25 centimetres long, made up of 5 leaflets on a central stalk. They are green on top, and paler and hairy underneath. The tree's bark separates into long plates as it gets older, which loosen from the trunk and give the tree a 'shaggy' look — that's how it gets its name. It can live for 200 years, grows to be 25 metres tall, and prefers rich, moist soil. Nuts from the shagbark hickory are edible and are 3 to 4.5 centimetres long. They are sweet tasting and are a favourite food of squirrels.