Virginia Tech Dendrology

shellbark hickory Juglandaceae Carya laciniosa (Michx. f.) G. Don Listen to the Latin symbol: CALA21
Leaf: Alternate, pinnately compound with 5 to 9 (usually 7 leaflets), 15 to 24 inches long, each leaflet obovate to lanceolate, dark-green above, paler and tomentose below. The rachis is stout and may be tomentose.
Flower: Species is monoecious; males are 2 to 3 inches long, yellow-green catkins; females are short, in clusters at the end of the branches, appearing in mid-spring.
Fruit: Round, 2 to 2 1/2 inches long, extremely thick husk (up to 1/2 inch), nut is 4-ribbed (maybe 6), maturing in early fall.
Twig: Stout, yellowish brown, usually glabrous, numerous lenticels, leaf scar three-lobed; terminal bud elongated (larger than shagbark) with numerous persistent, brown scales.
Bark: Initially smooth and gray with shallow interlacing ridges, later developing long, loose plates, resulting in a shaggy appearance.
Form: A large tree 80 to 100 feet tall, with a straight trunk and a narrow crown.
Looks like: shagbark hickory - red hickory - pignut hickory - mockernut hickory
leaf fruit twig bark form1 map
Additional Range Information: Carya laciniosa is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting shellbark hickory.
More Information: Wood
External Links: USDAFS Silvics of North America - 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