shagbark hickory is native to Southern Ontario, growing in a wide
range of soils in zone 5 & 6. It is easily identified by the bark
which sticks out and appears to be falling off, giving it a shaggy
appearance and thus its name. It has a long heavy tap root and so
is considered difficult to transplant. It is important to have a 60
cm taproot when moving one. Then it takes two years for the tree to
recover and make good growth again. Grown from seed, it can take 10
or more years for hickory trees to start to bear. Grafted trees will
begin to bear sooner.
hickory trees will produce a good crop every second year and often
the nuts are difficult to remove from the shell. Internal ridges
add to the difficulty of removing the nut meat. A large number of
selections were made in the last century. A few of them combine
the good characteristic of easy kernel removal with good production.
Some of the good selections for Ontario include Neilson (an Ontario
selection), Weschcke, Yoder 1, Glover and Wilcox.
hickory is also native to Ontario and true to its name is not edible.
To the inexperienced collector, it can be confused with the shagbark.
One soon learns the differences in the compound leaves, bark, husk
and nut shape that matches this taste, so that this experience is