Bitternut hickory is found throughout a broad range of eastern and midwestern forests. Though not equal to other hickories in terms of wood strength and wildlife value, bitternut hickory is often sold and used similarly.
Clearcutting with some amount of bitternut advanced regeneration results in a fast growing stand of saplings. Copious stump-sprouting allows bitternut to withstand browsing, breakage, drought, and fire.
Bitternut hickory is found on a wide variety of soils, from rich moist bottoms to drier hillsides.
A medium to large tree capable of reaching over 100 feet tall with an open, rounded top.
Bitternut hickory is used for lumber, furniture, dowels, tool handles, ladders, paneling, flooring, pallets, crates, pulpwood, fuelwood, charcoal, and the smoking of meats.
The extremely bitter nuts are not a favorite of wildlife, but they are still eaten.
Attracts squirrel, rabbits, beavers, small rodents and mammals
Insects and Diseases
The wood of bitternut hickory is very dense and is considered a high quality firewood. Leaf litter from bitternut hickory adds calcium to the soil. Early settlers used oil extracted from the nuts to fuel oil lamps.
Carya: Greek "karya or kaura" (walnut -Juglans regia) / cordiformis: heart-shaped (fruit) Latin "cordis" (heart) and "forma" (shaped)
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