Unusual & Old Fashioned Fruit Trees
– Hickory – Pecan Nuts
trees are well known for their strong wood that is used for making all
manner of furniture and even things like walking sticks. There are some
20 or so species that grow naturally throughout North America and Asia.
Reaching a mature height of over 25 metres and more they are not small
trees and are perhaps best suited to a wood or field rather than a back
garden. However, these deciduous trees do produce a very popular eating
nut in the shape of the Pecan Nut.
male and female flowers, or catkins, are born by Hickory trees in late
Spring, which when pollinated result in leathery fruits containing 4
segments and the Pecan nuts. Carya Illinoinensis is said to give the
best nuts, but is one of the largest at 30 metres. The Shagbark Hickory,
Carya Ovata, still has the potential to develop into a very large tree,
but grown in the open it tends to be much shorter and more squat in its
habit. As its name suggests the Shagbark is quite an interesting variety
because the grey bark peels giving the trunk a shaggy appearance. The
nuts of this variety are smaller and still edible, but as with all
Hickory trees, they need a long hot summer to ripen them after a cold
Winter. Trees are best planted as very young seedlings or even
germinated in situ as they prefer not to be moved later.