mockernut hickory Juglandaceae Carya
tomentosa (L.) Nutt.
Leaf: Alternate, pinnately compound, 9 to 14 inches long, with 7 to 9 serrate, lanceolate to obovate-lanceolate leaflets, rachis is stout and very pubescent, green above and paler below.
Flower: Species is monoecious; male flowers are yellow-green drooping catkins, with 3 hanging from one stalk, 3 to 4 inches long; female flowers are very small in clusters of 2 to 5 near the tip of the twig, both appear in spring.
Fruit: Obovoid to ellipsoidal in shape, 1 1/2 to 2 inches long, husk is thick (although less thick than C. ovata) and splits cleanly open, strongly 4-ribbed nut, with sweet and edible meat, matures in early fall.
Twig: Stout and pubescent, the 3-lobed leaf scars are best described as a "monkey face"; terminal bud is very large, broadly ovate (Hersey kiss-shaped), darker outer scales are deciduous in the fall, revealing a silky, nearly white bud.
Bark: Initially gray and smooth, later developing interlaced round-topped, light gray ridges and shallow, darker, furrows, never shaggy or exfoliating.
Form: A medium sized to large tree capable of reaching over 100 feet tall with a straight stem and a rounded crown.
Looks like: pignut hickory - shagbark hickory - shellbark hickory - sand hickory
Additional Range Information: Carya tomentosa is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting mockernut hickory.
More Information: Fall Color - Wood - Landowner Factsheet
External Links: USDAFS Silvics of North America - USDAFS Additional Silvics - USDA Plants Database - USDAFS Forest Products Lab
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson