Audubon® Shellbark Hickory
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The large, sturdy, long-lived and ruggedly handsome Shellbark Hickory will be a key component of your backyard bird habitat. This noble native shade tree attracts a wealth of caterpillars and other insects that songbirds love. Birds will come to feed, and they’ll also bring some nourishment back to their young—insect protein is vitally important to developing chicks. In time, your Shellbark Hickory will start to produce crops of big, sweet nuts, which jays and woodpeckers relish. Smaller birds, finding the nuts tough to crack, will find plenty to eat among the scraps dropped by squirrels. Oh, and you’ll find the nuts delicious, too!
May Benefit & Attract: Thrushes, waxwings, wood warblers, finches, mockingbirds & thrashers, chickadees & titmice, orioles, cardinals & grosbeaks, crows & jays, sparrows, nuthatches, vireos, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, and wrens.
Take Birds Under Your Wing
New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
- Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
- Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)
Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
- Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
- Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
Size AA (2-3' tall) container grown
Size A (4' tall) container grown
- Hardiness Zone: 5-8
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Recommended by Our Growers
Shellbark Hickory was once a familiar sight along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. It grew tall and proud on the floodplains there, nourishing people and wildlife, creating shade, stabilizing the soil, and preventing erosion. Then, the pioneers came and cut those old giants to the ground. Floodplain soil was considered prime farmland, so the trees had to go. They became ax handles, wagon wheel hubs, furniture, and firewood. Few mature trees remain. You can help revive this magnificent species by planting Shellbark Hickory on your own property. Let it rise to glory once more!
Have you even found one of those bizarre walking stick insects? They use Shellbark Hickory as a host plant! The royal walnut moth is another interesting insect that lays its eggs on Hickories. Its wingspan can be six inches wide.
How to Grow
Just as Shellbark Hickory appreciates low, fertile plains in the wild, it favors deep, rich, moist soil in the home landscape, too. It will even tolerate seasonal flooding. A site with all-day sun is best—this tree will survive in part shade, but growth will be slower there, and even under the best of circumstances, Hickories do not grow fast. Eventually, it will get quite large, so be sure to give your tree plenty of room. Keep it away from patios and pools, where falling nuts may be a hassle.
This graphic shows the approximate size and form of the Tree you are viewing.
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