Ontario Trees & Shrubs website

Shellbark Hickory
Carya laciniosa

Other common names: Big Shagbark Hickory, Big Shellbark Hickory, Kingnut

French names: Caryer lacinié

Family: Walnut Family (Juglandaceae)

Group: Hickories

Distinctive features: Tree; Closely resembles the familiar Shagbark Hickory (Carya ovata). Larger nuts & leaves. Leaf stalks often stay on the tree into the following year.

Similar species:
  •   Bitternut Hickory (Carya cordiformis)

  •   Shagbark Hickory (Carya ovata) - very similar, much more common in Ontario.

  •   Pignut Hickory (Carya glabra)

Leaves: Alternate, Compound, Entire;  Compound, alternate.

Fruit/Seeds: Nuts edible.

Habitat: Forests;  Usually moist to wet sites, valleys, stream banks; mixed woods.

Books: Trees in Canada: 206   

Native/Non-native: Native

Status: Rare in Ontario.

Notes: Rare in Ontario. Easily confused with Shagbark Hickory (Carya ovata).

Photographs: 52 photographs available, of which 7 are featured on this page. SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOGRAPHS.

Range Map is at the bottom of the page

Shellbark Hickory (Carya laciniosa)

This sign is in front of a Shellbark Hickory specimen at the University of Guelph Arboretum, in Guelph, Ontario.

Shellbark Hickory (Carya laciniosa)

A young tree. All photos on this page are of this specimen.

Shellbark Hickory (Carya laciniosa)


Shellbark Hickory (Carya laciniosa)


Shellbark Hickory (Carya laciniosa)

Current year twig, with leaves attached.

Shellbark Hickory (Carya laciniosa)

The central stalks of last year's leaves often remain attached to the tree into the next year, as shown in this photo.

Shellbark Hickory (Carya laciniosa)

Winter bud.

Range map for Shellbark Hickory (Carya laciniosa)

PLEASE NOTE: A coloured Province or State means this species occurs somewhere in that Province/State.
The entire Province/State is coloured, regardless of where in that Province/State it occurs.

(Range map provided courtesy of the USDA website and is displayed here in accordance with their Policies)