Mockernut Hickory

Carya alba

Family: Juglandaceae (joo-glan-DAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Carya (KAIR-yuh) (Info)
Species: alba (AL-ba) (Info)
Synonym:Carya tomentosa
Synonym:Carya tomentosa var. subcoriacea
Synonym:Hicoria tomentosa
Synonym:Juglans alba


Edible Fruits and Nuts


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


over 40 ft. (12 m)


over 40 ft. (12 m)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Bloom Color:



Bloom Time:

Mid Spring




Good Fall Color

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Atmore, Alabama

Morrilton, Arkansas

Macy, Indiana

Benton, Kentucky

Florence, Mississippi

Kinston, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina

Berwyn, Pennsylvania

Smithville, Tennessee

Wytheville, Virginia

Elmwood, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Dec 20, 2013, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

I've only seen this species at Jenkins Arboretum in Berwyn, PA, and I found a few in the dry, serpentine barrens soil of Nottingham Park, not realizing what they were for a few years. It is much more common in the South; not very much in the North that I know of, unless New England. Hickory are magnificent trees like oaks, though messy. Slow growing like other hickory of about 6"/yr and develops a big taproot. Lives about 250 years. The other scientific name is Carya tomentosa because the 7 to 9 leaflets that are relatively narrow are hairy below. The compound leaves are 8 to 12" long. The deeply 4-grooved husk is large, but the sweet nut inside is small, thus a mockery.


On Aug 29, 2007, escambiaguy from Atmore, AL (Zone 8b) wrote:

Mockernut hickory is strong, long lived, and drought tolerant. It also provides food for wildlife and provides excellent fall color, even in the deep south.