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Monday, June 9, 2014

Carya ovata - Shagbark Hickory

The shagbark hickory tree is not common around here. I have only seen them in two location. Hoping this one survives its location in parking lot M at Cabrillo. 

In its native habitat they grow quite large, references suggest 70-90' and several on Poplar St in SC have to be 50 or more.

Here is a shot from somewhere in the midwest, most likely Illinois. As you can see from the photo, the lower branches have an upward start but quickly weep down creating an interesting view from below. 

Leaves are deciduous, alternate, 8-14" long, pinnately compound with 5 (or sometimes 7) leaflets. Leaflets are light green in color, the terminal leaflet much larger than the laterals. Leaflets are 3-8" long broadly lanceolate to elliptical leaflets with finely serrated margins. There is quite of bit of coppery pubescence on the stems and leaves just as they emerge from the bud, missed that shot. Leaves turn yellowing brown in the fall.

Stems stout, brown, with rounded buds.

Flowers are monoecious, in mid spring, forming male catkins and small almost invisible females.

Male catkins 3-4" long, yellowish green, emerging with the foliage.

Females. You can see the ridges typical of hickories.

Fruit is a hickory. The husk is ridged. These are still young. Its only June.

In October.

Not hard to figure out how they ended up with the common name.

You might think its a walnut. They have compound leaves and the same type of flowers and fruit. Our typical walnut with so few leaflets would be the english walnut but those have much larger leaflets.

Cabrillo College parking lot M.

Santa Cruz
Poplar Ave across from the Branciforte Middle School. One in front, one in back.

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