Ontario's Tree Atlas: Bitternut Hickory (Carya Cordiformis)

Leaf; Photo: Daniel Tigner,
Canadian Forest Tree Essences
Bark; Photo: Daniel Tigner,
Canadian Forest Tree Essences
Fruit; Photo: Daniel Tigner,
Canadian Forest Tree Essences
Tree; Photo: Daniel Tigner,
Canadian Forest Tree Essences
Did you know?
Wood from the bitternut hickory is strong and tough and is used to make handles for tools and for sports equipment like lacrosse sticks. 

The bitternut hickory is found in southern Ontario.  It grows best on low, moist ground or in rich soil in higher ground.  It grows well even in shade, so is usually found in groups of other trees.

 

The bitternut hickory is a member of the group of trees called ‘pecan hickories’.  It produces round and bitter inedible nuts that are about 2 to 3.5 centimetres long.  Its dark green leaves are 15 to 25 centimetres long and are made up of 7 to 11 long, pointed leaflets on a central stalk.

 

Size:  15 to 20 metres tall, trunk 30 to 80 centimetres in diameter

Moisture:  Needs a lot of moisture
Shade:  Tolerates partial shade, but prefers full sun
Soil: Prefers rich soil

 

Planting tip: Bitternut hickories can be planted in partial shade.  They need a lot of water during the summer, so plant them in damp soil, or collect rainwater to water your tree. More tips...



 

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