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Pignut Hickory (Carya glabra)

Pignut Hickory Leaves Pignut Hickory Nut Pignut Hickory Bark

Pignut Hickory (Carya glabra) is one of several hickory species found in our Arboretum forests. It is found throughout the Eastern U.S. and north into southern Ontario. It is one of the most common hickories in the Appalachians. The common name was given by early settlers because the abundant nuts provided food for free-ranging hogs. Itís alternate, compound leaves typically have 5 (occasionally 7) glabrous leaflets (i.e., without hairs) that are finely toothed. The pear-shaped to ovoid fruits are about 1" in diameter, with thin husks and nuts that are not ribbed. A distinctive feature of the fruit is that when mature, the husk only splits about half-way along the fruit axis. The bark is relatively tight, has vertically oriented ridges that are rounded, and may be flaky. The nuts, which are high in crude fat and have moderate content of proteins, calcium and phosphorus, are an important food for a variety of mammals, such as squirrels, chipmunks, and black bear, as well as some birds such as turkeys, woodpeckers, pheasants and several songbirds. The strong, hard, tough wood is used for making tool handles, fence posts, sporting goods, agricultural implements, and as fuel wood. Early settlers used thin splits of the wood to make brooms.

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University of Tennessee - Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center
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