Water Hickory, Bitter Pecan, Swamp Hickory
Carya aquatica

Family: Juglandaceae (joo-glan-DAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Carya (KAIR-yuh) (Info)
Species: aquatica (a-KWA-tee-kuh) (Info)
Synonym:Carya aquatica var. australis
Synonym:Hicoria aquatica

Category:

Trees

Height:

over 40 ft. (12 m)

Spacing:

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

Hardiness:

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)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Danger:

N/A

Bloom Color:

Green

Inconspicuous/none

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Foliage:

Deciduous

Smooth-Textured

Other details:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Regional

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

Spanish Fort, Alabama

Benton, Kentucky

Paducah, Kentucky

Sugar Land, Texas

Gardeners' Notes:

1
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0
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RatingContent
Positive

On Jul 8, 2004, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

Very similar to the Pecan (carya illinoenis) The Water Hickory tree can be mistaken for it.

The main difference for the casual observer to find is that the Water Hickory has smooth leaves above and below, while the Pecan has fuzzy or hairy leaves. Buds are yellow/hairy for the Pecan and brown for the Water Hickory.

Bark is shreddy, but not shaggy like the Shagbark or Shellbark Hickories.

A very large tree...it can top 100'. Favors the wet lowlands and river bottoms. It is mainly a Southern tree, but is seen as far north as Southern Illinois along the Mississippi River.

The nuts are essential to wildlife for winter survival, as they form the 'mast' that falls on the forest floor, along with other nut bearing trees. Deer and small a... read more