Mockernut Hickory

Carya tomentosa

Alice B. Russell

Mockernut Hickory is one of several common hickory trees in our area. They are a medium-sized trees, growing up to 80 feeet tall. Trunks can be up to two feet wide.

Mockernut Hickories grow in forests with many other trees, especially oaks and pines.

Mockernut Hickory trees grow very slowly.

Noble Foundation Plant Image Gallery

Tihomir Kostadinov, University of Richmond

The bark of Mockernuts is gray with furrows (deep wrinkles).

Mockernut Hickory leaves are pinnately compound, which means there are many little leaflets (either seven or nine) surrounding a single stem. The whole leaf grows up to 20 inches long, with each leaflet growing up to eight inches long.

Leaves are shiny yellowish-green on top, and pale green below. The undersides of the leaves are very hairy. In the fall, leaves turn bright yellow.

Mockernut Hickory flowers are tiny and clustered together to make a hanging catkin. Three catkins hang from one stalk.

Fruits are 1 1/2 inches to two inches long and round or pear-shaped. They are green at first, turning brown as they get older. When the fruit, or nut, matures the sides split apart so that there are four pieces of thick husk surrounding the seed.

If a Mockernut Hickory tree falls, or is cut down, new sprouts can grow from the stump.

Tihomir Kostadinov, University of Richmond

Tihomir Kostadinov, University of Richmond

Mockernut Hickories grow with many other trees and plants, including: oaks, pines, Yellow Poplar, American Sycamore, Sassafras, Sweetgum, Flowering Dogwood, maples, sumac, Redbud, American Hornbeam, Eastern Redcedar, American Holly, American Elm, wild grapes, honeysuckle, Mountain Laurel, blueberries, greenbriers, Spicebush, Witch Hazel, goldenrods, asters, and sedges.

They also grow with other hickories, such as the Shagbark Hickory and Pignut Hickory.

NOBLE

Tihomir Kostadinov, University of Richmond

Mockernut Hickory nuts are consumed by many species of birds and other animals, including Wood Duck, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Red Fox, squirrels, Beaver, Eastern Cottontail, Eastern Chipmunk, Turkey, White-tailed Deer, White-footed Mice, and others.

Many insect pests eat hickory leaves and bark.

Mockernut Hickories also provide cavities for animals to live in, such as woodpeckers, Black Rat Snakes, Raccoons, Carolina Chickadees, and more.

They are also good nesting trees, providing cover for birds with their thick foliage.

Animals help disperse seeds so that new hickories can grow elsewhere. Chipmunks, squirrels, and birds do this best.

Some fungi grow on Mockernut Hickory roots, sharing nutrients from the soil.

Relationships in Nature:

Animals Using as Food Source

Animals Using as Shelter

Associations With Other Plants

OTHER

Eastern Chipmunk

Pileated Woodpecker

Black Oak

Eastern Chipmunk D

White-tailed Deer

Eastern Gray Squirrel

Southern Red Oak

Eastern Gray Squirrel D

Eastern Gray Squirrel

Black Rat Snake

Eastern White Pine

Wild Turkey D

Beaver

Wood Duck

Virginia Pine

Virginia Creeper Pa

Eastern Cottontail

Raccoon

American Sycamore

Poison Ivy Pa

Wild Turkey

Luna Moth

Sweetgum

Honey Mushroom Pa

Red Fox

Mourning Cloak

Red Maple

Turkey Tail Pa

Wood Duck

White-breasted Nuthatch

American Elm

White-breasted Nuthatch D

Raccoon

European Gypsy Moth

Sassafras

Blue Jay D

Luna Moth

Harvestman

Flowering Dogwood

Jack O'Lantern Pa

Common Crow

True Katydid

Common Reed

Japanese Honeysuckle Pa

Blue Jay

Beaver

American Hornbeam

Oyster Mushroom Pa

White-breasted Nuthatch

Eastern Hercules Beetle

Wild Grape

Oystershell Scale Pa

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Polyphemus Moth

Highbush Blueberry

Dogwood Borer Pa

Oystershell Scale

Oystershell Scale

Greenbrier

White-footed Mouse

Dogwood Borer

Yellow Poplar

European Gypsy Moth

Bald-faced Hornet

Witch Hazel

True Katydid

Goldenrod

Soil Mite

Spicebush

Dogwood Borer

Black Locust

Relationship to Humans:

Mockernut Hickory nuts are edible for humans. The wood of this tree is very hard and is used for furniture, flooring, tool handles, baseball bats, and skis. It also makes great firewood. Smoked hams are usually cooked using Mockernut Hickory wood.

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

KINGDOM
Plant
DIVISION
Magnoliophyta
CLASS
Magnoliopsida
ORDER
Juglandales
FAMILY
Juglandaceae
GENUS
Carya
SPECIES
Carya tomentosa

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