Audubon® Black Hickory
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Black Hickory brings life to barren spaces. This rugged, resilient native takes the hottest, driest, most challenging sites and turns them into oases for wildlife—especially birds! Hickory Trees host over 230 species of caterpillars, not to mention a wide assortment of plant bugs, aphids, leafhoppers, and beetles, making these noble shade trees into veritable three-star Michelin restaurants for birds. Some birds think Hickories such as Black Hickory offer quality lodging as well. Vireos, Eastern Wood Pewees, and Scarlet Tanagers are a few of the birds known to nest in their canopies. Turn your yard into a songbird bed and breakfast!
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 (12-18" tall) container grown
- Hardiness Zone: 4-9
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The indomitable Black Hickory is found in the south-central United States, in a region encompassing parts of Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana. It grows on dry, rocky hills along with other tenacious trees like Blackjack Oak and Post Oak. In those challenging environments, Black Hickory grows very slowly and never reaches its true potential in size. A mature tree may be only 30 feet tall. Where it has access to regular water and better soil, Black Hickory becomes a mighty shade tree. The nation’s largest, in Texas, stands 107 feet tall and has a 56-foot-wide canopy.
Black Hickory nuts have a thin shell, making them much easier to crack open than other Hickories. Still, small birds may have a hard time breaking into them. You can smash a few nuts with a rock or mallet and put the pieces in your birdfeeder for easier access. With a little help, cardinals, chickadees, nuthatches, yellow-rumped warblers, grosbeaks, towhees, titmice, and sparrows will appreciate the energy-rich nuts.
How to Grow
Grow Black Hickory in full sun in a site with well-drained soil. This is a good choice for a dry area where most forest trees would struggle. Still, proper care during the first few years is important. Provide regular water while the roots are getting established. Using the Bower & Branch Elements™ Watering System will ensure your tree gets a good start. Black Hickory is a slow-growing, long-lived tree—a legacy tree that you plant for future generations. The benefits to birds may come fairly quickly, however, in the form of insect meals. Do not spray them with pesticides!
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