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If you like pecans, you’ll love this Pecan relative, and the birds will, too. Shagbark Hickory is a choice native tree that produces delicious, sweet nuts for you and your feathered friends to enjoy. Blue Jays and woodpeckers will be grateful dinner guests, and with a little help (just break open the tough shells with a hammer), cardinals, chickadees, nuthatches, and all sorts of seed-eaters will feast as well. Shagbark Hickory serves as a valuable host plant for many species of insects, which also feed our native songbirds. With this tree, there’s something on the menu for everyone!
- Hardiness Zone: 4-8
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Recommended by Our Growers
Shagbark Hickory has been a part of North American lives since Native Americans lived off of the land. The nuts produced by Shagbark were used as an essential food source for the Natives and even early American settlers. Shagbark nuts are very popular with native wildlife and birds and are an excellent choice for bringing more animals to your yard. Today, Shagbark nuts are sold commercially for many to enjoy. Hickories, in general, are great choices to use for smoking meats for a rich, smoky flavor and burns very well. Since hickory is a hardwood, the wood can be used to manufacture furniture, tool handles, and even ladders!
Shagbark gets its name from the "shaggy appearance" that its loose-hanging bark gives the overall tree. The ends of each piece of bark peels back and curls, creating the shag-like look this tree is known for. A hardy tree, Shagbark prefers humid conditions but will not hesitate to adapt to a wide array of other landscapes. Enjoy the heat of the summer under the lovely shade of shagbark hickory while the birds sing you a song overhead!
Height: 70-90 ft
Width: 50-70 ft
Exposure: Full Sun, Part Shade
Fall Foliage: Yellow, Golden Brown
How to Grow
Shagbark enjoys being planted in soil that is humus-rich, loamy, that is well-draining. A large grower, Shagbark needs a lot of room to grow, so do not plant too close to buildings or other trees. This tree is not an excellent candidate to transplant as Shagbark grows a deep taproot that inhibits any movement to another location. Planting more than one Shagbark to cross-pollinate will help produce heavier crops, good for you and good for the birds!
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