Carya glabra - Pignut Hickory


A coarse-textured tree, 50-100 ft., with short, picturesque branches, irregular, spreading crown and thick-shelled nuts. Bark is not shaggy. Leaves are pinnately compound, the terminal leaflets considerably larger than the lower pair, turning a rich, golden-yellow color in fall.One of the most common hickories in the southern Appalachians and an important timber source there, its wood is made into tool handles and skis. It was formerly used for wagon wheels and textile loom picker sticks because it could sustain tremendous vibration. Named in colonial times from the consumption of the small nuts by hogs. Early settlers, who also called it Broom Hickory, made brooms from narrow splits of the wood. Red Hickory (var. odorata (Marsh.) Little), a variety with nearly the same range, has the fruit husk splitting to base, usually 7 leaflets, and often shaggy bark.