Pig-nut hickory

Basic Information
Tree ID: 
Genus and species: 
Pignut hickory (Carya glabra) is a common but not abundant species in the oak-hickory forest association in Eastern United States. Other common names are pignut, sweet pignut, coast pignut hickory, smoothbark hickory, swamp hickory, and broom hickory. The pear-shaped nut ripens in September and October and is an important part of the diet of many wild animals. The wood is used for a variety of products, including fuel for home heating. A North American native, Pignut Hickory is usually seen at 50 to 65 feet in height with a 30 to 40- foot-spread but is capable of slowly reaching 120 feet in the forest. The deciduous, 6 to 12-inch- long leaves create a coarse, oval canopy, and the strong but irregularly-spaced branches resist breakage in storms, making it useful as a shade tree.
Collected Data
Tree shape: 
Date of tree entry: 
14.60 m
Diameter at breast height: 
0.44 m

Flakey; The wood is used for fuel, and a variety of products, including broom handles, skis, and sporting goods, as well as wagon wheels, agricultural implements, tool handles, shuttle blocks, mallets, mauls, and early automobile parts.
Twigs & branches
Reproductive Structures
Male and female flowers are separate on the same tree.
The leaves and fruits of carya glabra are important sources of food for many animals.
Natural range of distribution: 
The pignut hickory inhabits most of the eastern United States, specifically from Ontario to central Florida and then out to Mississippi in the south. It is most abundant in fertile soils of bottomland hardwoods, oak hammocks, upland slopes, and ridges with other oaks and hickories. The pignut hickory has thrived the most in the lower Ohio river basin and dominates the hickories in the Appalachian forest. Climatewise, pignut hickories live in humidity with a moderate amount of precipitation and average temperatures between 45 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. It is tolerant of shade in its southern distribution. Pignut hickory codominates certain upland hardwood forests of eastern North America. Common codominants include white oak (Quercus alba) and northern red oak (Q. rubra).
Origin, history, and uses: 
The pignut hickory is a plant specific to the eastern United States, ranging from eastern Texas through southern states like Mississippi and Alabama, and into central Florida. It reaches as far up on the east coast as Vermont and has a limited range in Ontario, Canada. Relatives of the pignut hickory include the pecan and black walnut. The coast pignut hickory was once was its own variety, but it has since merged with the sweet and swamp pignut hickory. The wood of a pignut hickory is valuable for lumber because it is hard and heavy and used for basket making, cabinets, flooring, and other things. Obviously, people eat the nuts of the tree, but they also use the wood for fuel, and in the past, the wood was used for making wooden wheels and to extract black dye. 
Male and female flowers are separate on the same tree. Species is monoecious; males are yellow-green, drooping catkins, with three hanging from one stalk, 2 to 3 inches long; females are very short and found in clusters at the end of the branches, both appear in spring. Female flowers give way to edible oval-rounded nuts. Each nut is encased in a moderately thick husk which splits open in four sections when ripe in fall. Flowers are considered "open" when the reproductive parts (male stamens or female pistils) are visible between or within unfolded or open flower parts (petals, floral tubes or sepals).

Nordsyn fact sheets. (2015). doi:10.6027/na2015-913 http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/database/documents/pdf/tree_fact_sheets/carglaa…

(n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/tree/cargla/all.html

Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Handbook 541. Washington, DC. 375 p  

U.S. Department of the Interior, Geological Survey. 1970. The National Atlas of the United States. Washington, DC. 417 p.
Pignut Hickory.  UF School of Forest Resources and Conservation September 9, 2015. http://sfrc.ufl.edu/extension/4h/trees/Pignut_hickory/index.html#header1
“Virginia Tech Dendrology.” Carya Glabra Fact Sheet, dendro.cnre.vt.edu/dendrology/syllabus/factsheet.cfm?ID=19.
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