Landowner Fact Sheets

mockernut hickory Carya tomentosa play

Mockernut hickory is the most prevalent of the hickories, especially in the southern Appalachians. While many sources claim mockernut hickory can live to be 500 years old, there is little scientific evidence to support this claim. A more reasonable estimate of maximum age might be half that number.

range map Click to see more images. fall color wood grain

Clearcutting when advanced regeneration of mockernuts is present creates decent sapling stands. More shaded regeneration systems such as shelterwoods should also serve to minimize the competitive disadvantage of mockernut's slow growth rate.

Mockernut hickory is found on a variety of soils, ranging from flood plains to moist coves to well-drained uplands.


A medium sized to large tree capable of reaching over 100 feet tall with a straight stem and a rounded crown.

Timber Value
Mockernut wood is used for lumber, furniture, flooring, pulpwood, fuelwood, charcoal, tool handles, agricultural implements, meat-smoking, gymnasium equipment, agricultural implements, dowels, etc.

Wildlife Value
Mockernuts are the preferred mast of many species of wildlife. Deer browse mockernut saplings.
Attracts mice, squirrels, rabbits, foxes, beavers, deer, bears, ducks, quail, turkey

Insects and Diseases

Fun Facts
As with most hickories, the wood is heavy and is used for a variety of products. Mockernut wood is the preferred hickory for smoking hams. The common name refers to the large fruits that, once husked and shelled, yield very little meat.

Latin Meaning
Carya: Greek "karya or kaura" (walnut -Juglans regia) / tomentosa: tomentose (hairy)

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Landowner Factsheets © 2004 Virginia Tech Forestry Department, all rights reserved. Text, images, and programming by: Dr. Jeff Kirwan, Dr. John R. Seiler, John A. Peterson, Edward C. Jensen, Guy Phillips, or Andrew S. Meeks.