At Native Forest Nursery we grow bare root seedlings and #3 container trees. Our container trees are grown in a #3 air pruned pot. This root making container eliminates nearly all potential for root wrapping. This allows for an excellent root structure and delivers an extremely healthy tree. The bare root seedlings at our nursery are grown in a sandy loam soil with high organic matter content, which provides an extremely healthy environment for our seedlings. Our bare root liners and seedlings are hand lifted, packaged, and kept in cold storage until you are ready to plant. Conservation uses for our products include reclamation, mitigation, reforestation, restoration, wildlife habitat improvement and wetland uses. Horticultural uses for our products include field liners, container liners, landscape plantings, budding stock, grafting stock and ornamental uses.

Family: Juglandaceae
Latin Name: Carya glabra
Foliage: Dark yellowish-green
Fall Foliage: Golden brown
Bloom: Yellowish-green
Bloom Time: April to May
Shape: Rounded
Bark: Thin dark gray with scaly ridges
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Zone: Zone 4 to Zone 9
Size: 60 to 80 feet
Spread: 25 to 40 feet
Care: Medium, well drained soil

Nicknamed by some as the “Pecan of the North”, the fruit of the Pignut Hickory is only one of its prized yet relatively unknown attributes. This species exists throughout most of the eastern United States, but can be spotted as far west as Texas and as far north as Ontario; its best developmental region is said to be throughout the lower Ohio River Basin, where the humidity, medium, well-drained soils, and full-to-partial sun conditions are most suitable.

Like other hickory variations, Carya Glabra is a member of the Juglandaceae family; as such, it is characterized by its yellowish-green leaves, a thin-skinned gray bark that grows more furrowed and drier with age, and shelled nuts. It has a 4-9 hardiness zone rating. Fairly large, the Pignut Hickory towers up to 60-80 ft., with a straight-growing trunk and a rounded crown. Its branches spread out to encompass a wide diameter of 25-40 ft. This species’ leaves are alternately arranged and pinnately compound, with each leaf consisting of 5-7 leaflets with toothy margins. The Pignut Hickory’s yellowish-green catkins blossom from April to May, a color scheme that is echoed in the autumn as the tree’s foliage turns a rich tartan medley of gold, brown, and bronze.

The Pignut Hickory is perhaps most easily distinguished by its teardrop-shaped nuts, which ripen and begin to fall to the ground in early autumn. These are harvested even when they appear as smooth green husks, and typically turn warty and brown as they dry. These nuts are encased in thin husks which do not split completely open (when it does partially split, the husk’s shape is reminiscent of a pig snout, explaining the origin of the Pignut Hickory’s name). These seeds comprise 10-15% of the local squirrels’ diet, and the kernel is exceptionally high in crude fat. The Pignut Hickory itself is a refuge for an assortment of wildlife, providing nourishment, pollen, shade, and shelter.

Like other hickory woods, the Pignut Hickory is an esteemed timber, distinguished by its reddish-brown heartwood and paler yellow-brown sapwood. A mixture of this heartwood and sapwood can be marketed as Calico Hickory, prized for its handsome two-toned, rustic appearance.

Mature Tree Photos: