With all the bounties that Fall has to offer, it seemed fitting that this issues feature tree represent one of our great nut producing species
Few Ohio native trees have the majestic height & strength of the Pignut Hickory, Carya Glabra. Pignut Hickory are characterized by 5-7 small leaflets. The bark is gray and smooth when the tree is young. As the tree matures, the bark peels off into narrow strips, but these are not as extensive or curling as in shagbark hickory (Carya ovate). Pignut Hickory tree’s natural habitat are deep forests on slopes and hillsides, as the plant needs good drainage.
In Northeast Ohio, Pignut Hickory trees are commonly found in our Maple-Beech forests. A champion Ohio specimen can be found in Franklin County, standing at over 120 feet tall.
The fruit is egg shaped and enclosed in a thin husk. The fruit ripens in September & October and seeds are dispersed from September through December. Pignuts begin to bear seed in quantity in 30 years, with optimum production between 75-200 years.
As with other hickories, the wood of this tree is tough and strong. It is commonly used for tools and athletic equipment. Pignut Hickory is also a good ornamental tree for dry sites; wildlife, such as squirrel, turkey, songbirds, foxes, rabbits and even deer will be attracted to its fruit and you will not be disappointed by its spectacular orangey-red fall colors.