Carya spp. (CARE-ee-ah)
Deciduous Sun Height. 50 - 140 feet Spread 30 - 50 feet Spacing: 20 - 30 feet
HABIT: About eight species in Texas, hard to tell apart. They have very similar characteristics and hybridize freely between species. Foliage looks similar to that of pecan, but the leaflets are bigger.
CULTURE: Generally like moist, acid soils of East Texas. Carya glabra, pignut hickory, likes well-drained ridges. Carya texana, black hickory, likes dry, granite-rock hillsides. Carya ovata, shagbark hickory, has the sweetest nuts. Foliage looks similar to that of pecan, but the leaflets are bigger.
USES: Shade tree, edible nuts.
PROBLEMS: Won’t grow well in alkaline soils.
NOTES: The state champion 97 feet pignut hickory is in Trinity National Wildlife Refuge near Houston.