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Permaculture Plants: Pecans and Hickory

  • Pecans… a favorite nut!

    Common Name: Pecan and Hickory
    Scientific Name: Carya species
    Family: Juglandaceae (the Walnut family)

    Hickory Nuts

    Common Species:

    • Pecan (Carya illinoinensis) – large to very large tree
    • Shellbark Hickory (Carya laciniosa) – large tree
    • Shagbark Hickory (Carya ovata) – large tree
    • Hican (Carya x hybrids) – large to very large tree


    Shagbark Hickory (Carya ovata)… Stunning!

    Less Common Species:

    • Water Hickory (Carya aquatica) – large tree, used mainly for wood and fuel
    • Chinese Hickory (Carya cathayensis) – large tree, used for nuts, oil (nut), and wood
    • Bitternut Hickory (Carya cordiformis) – large tree, used mainly for wood and fuel
    • Pignut Hickory (Carya glabra) – very large tree, variable flavored nut, used mainly for wood and fuel
    • Mockernut Hickory (Carya tomentosa) – very large tree, good flavored nut but very tough shell, used mainly for wood and fuel 
    A majestic Pecan tree

    The Hickories and Pecans are large, slow-growing trees that can take many years to begin bearing. These majestic trees which give us some of the best tasting nuts, fantastic wood wood for smoking meat, and wood that can be used in a variety of ways, should be considered an investment for the future. I hope to enjoy, literally, the fruits of my labor, but I know my children, grandchildren, and maybe even my great-grandchildren will enjoy it as well.

    Pecan (Carya illinoinensis) by Charles Sprague Sargent


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