Hickory Facts

Hickory Facts
Hickory is a type of deciduous tree that belongs to the walnut family. There are 18 species of hickory. 15 species are native to North America and Canada, while remaining 3 originate from Asia. Hickory grows in floodplains and in the evergreen and deciduous forests. It requires rich, well-drained soil and full sun for the optimal growth. Hickory is mostly cultivated as a source of high-quality wood. Some species of hickory produce edible, tasty nuts.
Interesting Hickory Facts:
Hickory can reach 80 to 100 feet in height. It develops 39 to 75 feet wide crown and 2 to 6.6 feet wide trunk.
Hickory has grey or brown, deeply furrowed bark.
Hickory produces pinnate leaves that consist of 3 to 17 oval leaflets with pointed tips. Upper side of the leaves is yellowish-green colored. Bottom side is pale due to dense layer of fine hairs.
Hickory is monoecious plant (male and female flowers develop separately on each tree). Male flowers are yellow-green catkins. Female flowers are arranged in terminal spikes composed of 2 to 10 individual flowers.
Hickory tree blooms during the spring. Hickory is wind-pollinated plant that cannot perform self-pollination. That means that pollen needs to be exchanged between two hickory trees in order to ensure successful pollination.
Fruit of most species of hickory is egg-shaped, nut-like drupe that consists of single pit (stone) surrounded with husk. Outer husk is woody. It splits into 4 sections to release mature fruit.
Shagbark hickory, shellbark hickory, mockernut hickory and pecan are types of hickory that produce edible nuts.
Hickory nuts are excellent source of dietary fibers, mono-unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins of the B group and minerals such as manganese, zinc and phosphorus.
Hickory nuts can be consumed as snack or as an ingredient of various sweet desserts and industrial candies.
Bark of shagbark hickory is used for the production of edible syrup.
Pecan nuts are especially popular and beneficial for the humans' health. Regular consumption of pecan nuts can prevent development of gallstones in females and aid in lowering of the blood cholesterol level. Pecan nuts are also beneficial for the health of nervous and muscle tissue (they can prevent neuromuscular degeneration).
Many forest animals such as woodpeckers, wild turkeys, chipmunks, beavers, forest mice and deer eat bark, leaves and fruit of hickory. Those that feed on fruit facilitate dispersal of seed.
Wood of hickory is dense, hard and durable. It was used for the manufacture of aircrafts in the past. Today, hickory has application in the industry of tool handles, paddles, drumsticks and furniture.
Hickory is used for smoking of meat due to specific aroma of its wood.
Hickory can survive few hundred years in the wild. Pecan tree bears fruit even at the age of 300 years.

Related Links:
Plants Facts
Animals Facts