Trees of Alabama and the Southeast

Lisa Samuelson, Ph.D.
School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
Auburn University

Pignut Hickory
Carya glabra

Leaves are alternate, deciduous, hairless, and pinnately compound with 5-7 obovate leaflets. Twigs are red-brown, smooth and slender. Terminal buds of pignut hickory are generally smaller and twigs more slender than in mockernut hickory. Bark is gray-brown with interlacing ridges. Nut is sweet and pear-shaped and enclosed in a thin husk that splits only part way. Form is up to 36 m (120 ft) in height and 1.2 m (4 ft) in diameter. Pignut hickory is found on a variety of upland sites in the eastern U.S. and is intermediate in shade tolerance. The hard wood is used for pulpwood and furniture. The nuts are eaten by many small mammals.

Photographs by Mike Hogan.

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