Trees of Alabama and the Southeast

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

Red Hickory
Carya ovalis

Leaves are alternate, deciduous, pinnately compound with 5-7 but mostly 7 obovate, fragrant leaflets, and a red petiole. Bark is gray-brown with somewhat scaly, interlacing ridges. Nut is ridged and nearly round, and enclosed in a thin, rough husk that splits to the base. Form is up to 36 m (120 ft) in height and 1.2 m (4 ft) in diameter. Red 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 animals. Some consider this species a variety of pignut hickory.

Photographs by Mike Hogan.

To view examples, click on the thumbnail below: