Hickory (Carya Spp)
Hickory nuts are the best tasting nuts in the world. Most people who have tasted a hickory nut would agree. Hickory trees are slow growing. They have a beautiful strong form and are built of some of the toughest wood on earth. Hickory and Black Locust are tied for having the highest BTUs of hardwoods in the northeast. Hickory wood is much tougher than locust though, and it is now commonly being used for flooring and cabinets. It is traditionally used for such arduous tasks as long bows and axe handles.
Hickory nuts deserve far more attention than they receive. The reason they are not more widely known and eaten in the world is because they are difficult to shell. There are a couple ways to not let that stop you from enjoying hickory nuts. The first method is 'smash and boil', nuts and shells together. After a while, a lot of the nut meat will rise to the surface and the shells will sink. Drink the broth and eat the nuts. Another method is to select trees that crack out easier and use a good hard shell nut cracker (The Master Nut Cracker is our favorite).
Plant two for pollination. Hickories are slow to bear and will not begin producing nuts until somewhere between age 10-30 depending on care, site, and genetics.
The Varieties we have listed below are our seed sources for the trees we grow.
Shagbark Hickory 'graveyard' (carya ovata)- We found this tree growing in an old cemetery for revolutionary war vets and families from the early 1800's. The tree looks as if it has been there the whole time. It produces football shaped nuts of medium size that crack out into halves very easily with a good nut cracker.
Shellbark Hickory (carya lacinosa)- Shellbark hickory looks very similar to shagbark, but the nuts are much larger, often average twice the size.
Hickory Package- 10 Hickory Trees- 5 shagbark and 5 shellbark