Nature Profile


Carya cordiformis (bitternut hickory)

Carya cordiformis

According to Klyn Nursery, “This Ohio native is one of the faster-growing hickories. It will eventually become a slender tree with an irregular, cylindrical crown of stiff ascending branches. The interesting bark is gray to brown and shallowly-furrowed. The tree is salt tolerant, and it also tolerates cohabitation with black walnut. Identification is easy because the buds turn a bright mustard yellow in the winter. The nuts are inedible, but the wood is strong and highly shock-resistant, making it great for tool handles and furniture. Additionally, it acts as a larval host for the luna moth, the funerary dagger moth, and the giant regal moth. It prefers full sun, but it tolerates part shade, and its preferred habitat is rich, moist woods. Also of note is the fact that it’s found further north than any other hickory.” Ohio Native 


[Photo: Carya cordiformis (Bitternut Hickory) (35706708956); Credit: Plant Image Library from Boston, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons] 

Form: Irregular

Growth Rate: Fast

Light: Full Sun, Part Sun

Size: 50-75 feet

Tolerances: Salt

Value: Native to Eastern North America

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