Types Of Hickory Trees

There are various types of hickory trees in different parts of the world. These trees are mostly found in Midwest, upper Midwest and beyond. Among other trees, hickory trees grow scattered unless they are grown for commercial purposes. They all reach a height of 40 feet. There are also believed to be durable since they live for many years. These trees are known to produce different types of nuts. Among the types of nuts produced produce by different species of hickory trees, only a few of them are good for human consumption. Some types of hickory trees are known to provide habitat for small animals and birds, shade and hard wood.

The types of hickory trees that are common and mostly grown are the Shellbark, the Shagbark and the Southern Shagbark. They are closely related but they can be distinguished by the size of the nut each species produce and the composition of their leaves. These types of hickory trees are generally not found in the same area but they are all characterized by a shaggy bark from which they derived their names. These common types of hickory trees are explained briefly below.


The scientific name of Shellbark is Kingnut (Carya laciniosa). These types of hickory trees are known to grow in a rich moist and well drained land. They have shaggy and lose barks. They are tolerant to wet sites and wind. They also have deep taproot that make it difficult for them to transplant. Shellbarks are mostly used for shade and specimen.


Shagbark has a scientific name that is commonly known as Carya ovate. These types of hickory tree are easy to recognize because they are characterized with loose shaggy barks. They are known to grow in moist and well drained areas. They are toleratessome to dryness and wind. They grow in a slightly acidic pH soil. They are mostly used for shade and specimen as compared to Shellbark. It also provides shelter for some animals such as bats, moths and squirrels because of their peeling barks. The nuts produced by this species are edible. These types of hickory trees are mostly found in different parts of the United State and Illinois.

Southern Shagbark

The scientific name of Southern Shagbark is Carya carolinae-septentrionalis. These types of hickory trees grow in areas with large deposits of limestone. These types of trees are characterized by thin, blackish twigs, small buds and shaggy barks when they mature.

Other types of hickory trees

There are other trees that belong to the family of hickory that are not commonly known. These types of trees include the mockernut hickory (Carya tomentosa), bitternut hickory (Carya cordiformis), pignut or black, hickory (Carya glabra), nutmeg hickory (Carya myristiciformis) red hickory (Carya ovalis). Some of these types of hickory trees like the Pecan (Carya illinoinensis) are grown for commercial purpose because their nuts are valuable. Nutmeg is a type of hickory tree that is not commonly known. They have smooth bark throughout their lifespan and their nuts are good for human consumption.