Unusual & Old Fashioned Fruit Trees



 

Carya Hickory Pecan Nuts

 

Hickory 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.

Both 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.

 

 

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