red hickory Juglandaceae Carya
ovalis (Wangenh.) Sarg. symbol: CAOV3
Leaf: Alternate, pinnately compound, 8 to 12 inches long, with 5 or 9 leaflets (most often 7), leaflets are lanceolate and finely serrate, green above and below, rachis is slender and may be pubescent or glabrous, often red.
Flower: Species is monoecious; males are drooping catkins, with three hanging from one stalk, 2 to 3 inches long; females are short and found in clusters at the end of the branches, appearing in mid-spring..
Fruit: Nearly globose, 1 to 1 1/2 inches, with a thin husk that mostly splits to base upon maturation, nut is not ribbed and the seed is usually sweet, matures in early fall.
Twig: Moderately stout to slender (when compared to the other hickories) and glabrous; leaf scars are 3-lobed to cordate - best described as a "monkey face"; terminal bud is small and light brown in color.
Bark: The bark on young trees is smooth, soon becoming finely shaggy, later developing obvious close interlacing shaggy-topped ridges.
Form: A medium sized tree with a rounded crown and a straight trunk, reaching up to 80 feet tall.
Looks like: pignut hickory - shagbark hickory - mockernut hickory - sand hickory
Additional Range Information: Carya ovalis is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting red hickory.
More Information: Fall Color - Wood
External Links: 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