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For other meanings of Hickory please see Hickory (disambiguation).
Shagbark Hickory
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae

Division: Magnoliophyta

Order: Juglandales
Family: Juglandaceae
Genus: Carya
Species: ovata
Binomial name
Carya illinoinensis

Hickory is a tree of the genus Carya (which also includes pecan). It is characterized by extremely tough, yet flexible wood, which is valuable for tool handles, bows, etc. The wood is highly prized for woodburning stoves, because of high caloric content. Hickory wood is also a preferred type for smoke curing meats. The nuts of some species are palatable; while others are bitter, and only suitable for animal feed. Shagbark and shellbark hickories are regarded as the finest nut trees.

Shagbark Hickory Photo ©2003 courtesy Susan Sweeney
Hickory flowers are anemophilous and self incompatible, so two clonal (grafted) trees cannot pollenize each other. Two or more varieties must be planted for pollination. Seedlings (grown from hickory nuts) will usually have sufficient genetic variation.

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