Audubon® Water Hickory
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Hickories are rarely planted by homeowners, and that’s a shame, because they’re handsome, sturdy shade trees that have a lot to offer local wildlife. Water Hickory is one such species that should be used more. With its rugged, shaggy bark and tall, graceful habit, it makes a fine feature for your landscape, and it’s also a wonderful gift to all the creatures you share your landscape with. Water Hickory supports a wide array of insects, which in turn feed many backyard birds, not to mention small mammals. Hooray for Hickory!
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
- Hardiness Zone: 3-9
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Recommended by Our Growers
Water Hickory—not surprisingly—likes to grow near water. It’s a southern species, present in the coastal states, from North Carolina to Texas. It also follows the Mississippi River Valley up into the southern tip of Illinois. Where Water Hickory grows on floodplains, it performs a valuable service: cleansing runoff water before it re-enters rivers, and eventually, the ocean. Don’t feel that you have to live on the floodplain to grow this tree, however. It does just fine in typical garden conditions. It is also more cold-hardy than you might expect, withstanding winter lows down to -10ºF.
In the Walnut family and a close relative of Pecan, Water Hickory, too, produces nuts. Unfortunately, its nuts are very bitter to human tastes. Birds and squirrels don’t seem to mind too much, though, and they’ll eat them if they’re hungry enough.
How to Grow
Just as Water 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. Regular soil is suitable as well. A site with all-day sun is best for Water Hickory. Keep in mind that growth will be slow—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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