Shellbark Hickory

Carya laciniosa

Family: Juglandaceae (joo-glan-DAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Carya (KAIR-yuh) (Info)
Species: laciniosa (la-sin-ee-OH-suh) (Info)


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 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)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:



Bloom Time:

Mid Spring




Good Fall Color

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

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:

Lagrange, Georgia

Urbana, Illinois

Benton, Kentucky

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota

Weatherby, Missouri

Raleigh, North Carolina

Wytheville, Virginia

North Omak, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 9, 2015, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

I saw one at the University of Illinois in the 1970's in a park with a grove of oak and hickory trees, It resembles the more common Shagbark Hickory but has bigger compound leaves of 15 to 22 inches long and usually has 7 leaflets, though 5 to 9 are possible, and are soft hairy below.


On Mar 7, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

One of our most beautiful large native shade trees, and one of the few in whose shade a garden or lawn can flourish. Glowing golden fall color is early and long-lasting. I find the shaggy gray bark distinctively beautiful.

Endangered in New York and threatened in Maryland, this species is rare throughout most of its native range. It is in most respects very similar to shagbark hickory, Carya ovata. It tends to grow somewhat smaller.

Straight-trunked with an oval crown, commonly reaching 60-80', rarely to 120'. The wood is strong and valued commercially for many uses.

The nuts are tasty and sweet, if you can beat the squirrels to them. Thick-shelled like black walnuts, falling nuts have been known to dent cars, so plant these trees away from stre... read more


On Jan 29, 2009, jqpublic from Cary, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

This is a beautiful tree who nuts were disseminated by Native Americans and then farmed once large enough for those same nuts. The nuts made their way all the way over to Durham, NC where there is a disjunct population along New Hope Creek (most likely a leftover Native American hickory farm). The NC state champion is also located among that grove of trees...with an amazing trunk diameter of 3 feet!