Shagbark Hickory

Carya ovata

Family Juglandaceae

Notable Features
Leaves: Alternate* compound* leaves made up of 5 to 7 hairless leaflets*, with the end leaflet larger than the others.
Twigs/ Buds: Twigs stout and a reddish-brown, may or may not be hairy. Buds* large (½ to ¾ inches), and comprised of two large overlapping scales.
Bark: Bark a light brown color, and peeling to an extreme extent. Loose and “shaggy” strips of bark hang from the sides of the tree.
Fruit: Green, egg-shaped fruits produced in autumn, the husk of which splits into four equal parts when opened. Yellowish nut inside. 1½-2¼ inches (4-6 centimeters).
Size/ Shape: A large, oblong deciduous* tree, 60 to 90 feet (18-27 meters) in height once mature.

Location on Campus

(click for map)

Located behind the Brandeis entrance and gatehouse, and on the hill where Louis Brandeis statue is found, on the slope facing Rosenthal Quad.

The nuts should be gathered once they have fallen to the ground, which usually occurs after most of the leaves have fallen off the tree. The nuts can be shelled and eaten as they are, or can be used to make flour or candy. The tree itself can be tapped for syrup, sugar, and water.

Except where specifically noted, all text, photographs, and drawings copyright Chris Bersbach and Lisa Leombruni 2002. No part of this page may be reproduced without the express permission of the authors.