Shagbark hickory

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

I recently posted about a huge oak which was blown over in a recent storm earlier this summer, lamenting the $5000 price tag to remove the fallen carcass. Workmen finally started the job yesterday - a crew of 6 men working from 8AM until 5PM, still didn't get it finished. Meanwhile crushing every living thing in my yard with heavy equipment - it's a good thing I was at work otherwise I would have cringed at every treasure crushed. Once I get up my courage, I'll assess the damage later today. Unfortunately, they still estimate another full day's work to finish the job.
My question is what to do with a remaining shagbark hickory. It was growing next to the oak. Seeking some sun, it grows up at an angle, pushed in that direction by the huge neighboring oak. Now that the oak is gone, the shagbark looks thin and isolated - sort of sticks out like a sore thumb. It was just as tall as the oak, but much skinnier. I don't know enough about shagbarks to know if it will fill in to become an attractive tree? Or should I give up on it and have it removed? Here are a few pictures. I realize terrible exposure, but I took them from my back porch this morning aiming toward morning sun. I think you can still get a sense of the situation. Immediately in back of my porch is a rather steep limestone ridge. I have conifers on the sunny slope. The oak was right at the top of the ridge behind all the conifers. It filled the gap between the redbud on the left and the shagbark on the right. I'm interested in others' opinions.

Thumbnail by Weerobin Thumbnail by Weerobin Thumbnail by Weerobin
Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

I would probably give up on it and have them remove the Hickory too. It will only get more expensive.
But... Another way of thinking about it is that in 5 years the other trees will have grown up enough that the scraggliness will not be so visible.

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Keep the hickory. It is a huge contributor to ecosystem services in so many ways. You have so many other plants competing in that area, the space will likely fill in quickly.

Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

Another vote to keep the hickory. With the oak gone, it'll be getting more light, so will thicken up and spread out.


Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Thanks everyone. I think I'll keep it and see how it goes.

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