Return to the Trees Forum

 o
Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Posted by treebird 5 (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 20, 13 at 17:19

I wanted to open up a thread here for people interested in growing Hickory and Hicans for nut production. I feel that many nut enthusiast may be uniformed about Hickory nut production and their pecan hybrid cousin, the hican. I want to open this up as a topical discussion that others can glean from and hopefully want to gear up to graft and grow these delicious outdoor edibles that are in my opinion the best tasting nuts. Feel free to ask questions and yes there are selective cultivars that are far more superior to what you may find in the wild. Hickory and Hicans have been in cultivation for near 100 years but somewhere over the span of time their cultivation has been dwindling by a thread. Here's a picture of some different cultivars.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

More Pictures


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

More Photos


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Somebody did a lot of work. Thanks for posting. One comment I would like to make is that there is some evidence that Native Americans were selecting Hickories with desirable traits for many years before the Europeans arrived. Doubtless a lot of this information was lost during the dispossession the Indians suffered, and now we are starting over again. Thanks again for posting.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

You are welcome. I have several cultivars grafted but it seems that most of the people who have hickory cultivars grafted are up there in years and cultivation may be on the verge of disappearing once again. I am one of the only young growers out there. There is only one place in the US who grafts select hickory and hicans and that is Nolin River Nursery in Kentucky. Grimo Nut Nursery in Canada is the only other place that I know of. There is no where else who sells grafted hickory or hicans. There are plenty of nurseries grafting pecans and other nuts but we are losing awareness of the wonderful aspects of the most flavorful nut out there.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Nice display, treebird.
Do we know one another? I see that you have two of my 'finds' - Sinking Fork shagbark and Garnett shellbark, on your board.
Linked below is a nice little article Dr. Strang put together a year or two back, on hickories...

Here is a link that might be useful: Have you tried hickories?


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Well the wood box display I pulled offline. The other photos are mine. I did know about the article from Dr. Strang. I heard he was wanting to put out a book on hickory, which would be great! I would imagine it would be difficult to track down photos of all the various cultivars, but I'm sure Bud Luers could have access most of those. He has the largest collection of hickory out there that I know of. When I first saw the article by Dr. Strang, the Bridgewater cultivar description caught my eye and I was really hoping to get a sample to examine it. Luckily Bud had it producing and sent me a few nuts. It is big for a shag. I have a photo of it beside Grainger for comparison. Grainger so far is the most superior cultivar for a shagbark that I have observed. Bridgewater would be great if the kernels fell free from the shell like Grainger. It is still a really good flavored oily nut with plenty of kernel. I haven't observed Sinking Fork or Garnett.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

This is a comparison of Grainger beside Bridgewater, they are both great nuts.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

treebird,
Email me - we need to talk.
Can send samples of 2012 crop Sinking Fork & Garnett nuts for you to assess.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

My favorite nuts come from Shagbarks but I admire the beauty of Shellbarks and some do have great nut attributes as well. I would have to say the top 4 shellbark nuts I've examined would have to be Simpson 1, Keystone, Fayette, and Scholl. They appear to have the nicest cavities and least protruding ribs. Keystone has ribs but the thin shell and ease of cracking makes up for it. I find shellbarks to have a slightly more bland flavor with the exception of Simpson 1. Fred Blankenship has a cultivar of Shellbark he calls LJ (Lebenon Juction) he said it's a large nut and the kernel taste like a big cookie. I haven't examined it for myself. I haven't been able to examine any production and tree character of the above shellbarks. Simpson 1 is one that has been noted for being a heavy producer. Of the shagbark world I find the top ones to be Grainger, Retzer, and Bridgewater. Of course these opinions are subjective, we all have different taste and different characteristics appeal to us. They are all very large shags with excellent characteristics. Grainger is my top pick of the two worlds. It's the only nut where I can remove the entire kernel in one piece if it is cracked just right. I have several Grainger seedlings from various orchards that I am growing out.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

bird,
In addition to the nuts - which are the principal reason I'm propagating hickories, they are quite a nice ornamental.
Many of the shagbark & shellbark selections I have sport red-tinted buds, and in early spring, they swell and look like big red tulips unfurling all over the tree; even the green-budded trees are pretty, but the ones with red bud scales are striking.
As they age, the exfoliating bark certainly lends an aesthetically-pleasing appearance, and fall color is typically a warm golden yellow.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

I'm going to have to go back and look at the photos and continue to re-read, but this is a discussion of valuable-interest, to me. I might see myself removing conifer-grafts from a chunk of my land to put in a hickory collection.

Dax


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

  • Posted by beng z6 western MD (My Page) on
    Tue, Jul 23, 13 at 10:49

Lucky, my 9' shellbark (from OIKOS) is arguably the handsomest foliage plant on my lot. :) Re-transplanting it a few yrs ago hardly bothered it.

I recently hiked a forested lake-shore at nearby Rocky Gap state (MD) park, and the main understory colonizer was -- shagbark hickory. Thousands of seedling/saplings along the entire shore. Never seen shagbark colonizing like that before.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rocky Gap state park

This post was edited by beng on Tue, Jul 23, 13 at 10:56


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

They are absolutely great ornamentals as well. There is a cultivar called Daulton which has enormous buds and leaves are the biggest I've ever seen. I can't seem to find the picture that was sent to me but it is the most beautiful tree I've ever seen. One leaf makes up four to five leaves of your average hickory. Above there is a picture of the nut I sampled. It does have a thicker shell but it cracks out good and the flavor is sweet for a Shellbark. Bullnut is another very ornamental shellbark tree. It has dark green glossy leaves with yellow veins. I've had it grafted here for 2 years now, it is a fast grower. I just got Daulton grafted this year. Bullnut has an unusual white kernel, flavor is average and it cracks out better then your average shellbark. It is one of Bud Luers favorites.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Bullnut Nut


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Shellbark Hickory Nut Comparison, Daulton is included in the photo.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

I planted many nuts (tomentosas, glabras, ovatas, and laciniosas) last fall in my yard. Nothing came up. I am a little bit disappointed, especially since I did took care of protecting them from animals. I was told that hickories do germinate quite well. Any recommendation on what to do best to germinate them? Or is it best to get them in containers?


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

I just stick my nuts in a pot of top soil 2 inches down then bury the pot in the ground during the fall. Make sure they are deep 4 inch pots. Around late may or June they begin to sprout. When they are about 8 inches tall I cut the pot from around the tree roots and stick em in the ground where I want them. Very easy.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

don't give up hope just yet. I have some planted in pots this spring that have just popped up in the last week - and some that haven't shown any activity yet..
My own success with germinating hickories has been poorer than with pecans - but I've had shellbark nuts that just laid out in the yard all winter(the dog drug the bag off, and I didn't find it 'til spring) that germinated a high % after I stuck 'em in a nursery bed.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Lets not forget about the best Hickory Nut Cracker out there, the "Mr. Hickory Nut Cracker" Hand made by Fred Blankenship. I use this thing all the time for cracking kernels out my hickory nuts. It is a powerful cracker! For anyone interested in buying one you can contact Fred Blankenship at: 270-272-7670. Built by Mr. Hickory. The price is $80.00 plus shipping.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

tb,
The 'Mr. Hickory' cracker is, in my estimation, the best cracker on the market for use on hardshell nuts, like hickories and black walnuts. I've used one on multiple occasions - have meant to buy one from Fred, but haven't gotten around to it - but will probably do so soon...
Works on the smallest shagbark to the largest shellbark, without having to constantly readjust , like some I've used.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

I agree it is the absolute best for cracking through hard hickory shells from any shag to any shell. I've used it crack black walnuts but I like using my Potter nut cracker for black walnuts. I don't really care for how the Potter cracks out hickory nuts. For hickory its either a hammer and a steel block or my Mr. Hickory Nut Cracker. It also has a small adjustable chisel head that pinpoints pressure in any area you want to in order to extract meat in those hard to reach pockets. It's a very handy cracker and well worth the money. It's heavy duty but yet very simple to use. Fred is an old tool and dye man and builds these things with great craftsmanship. This cracker can even bend very heavy gauge steel washers, not that there is any reason to do so but I've tried it and this thing has a lot of power behind it.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Guys,

I've saved a spot and would like to get in. I estimate at least 8 nearly properly spaced, or more trees if I choose to do so. This spot is rolling land so there's more than the eye can see, however, plenty of room for eight for certain.

Carya plot photo AledoProperty20133076Caryaplot.jpg

lucky knows I graft. treebird, it would be very kind of you to lend me a hand with scions and in return I can graft for you if you would like, or... I'll owe ya for life. What saith you???

winter 2014-15 I'll have 100+ Carya illinoinensis seedlings of grafting size. They're right out of the gate, currently. Will these work, or what do I need?

I have seedlings of Carya lasciniosa, just a couple, I'm planting elsewhere, if that's of any relevance...

Any help will be appreciated, gentleman:

Dax


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Hey Dax, I recommend spacing 30-40 ft between hickory trees. They are less spreading than pecan with Shellbark being a little more spreading. I graft onto pecan because it seems to cause hickory to really take off faster but everyone has their own preference. I really don't have scion wood to spare because all my trees are still quite small yet, only 3 to 4 ft. I do my own grafting as well. You could contact Fred Blankenship 270-272-7670, Bud Luers 419-892-2043, or Clifford England 606-493-8239. They are probably your best resources out there for hickory scion wood.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

I would've spaced them on 20' markers knowing that wasn't quite enough, but still decent.

I'll get in touch with lucky and these other fellas. Thank you treebird.

Cordially,

Dax


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Dax 20 by 20 would work for quite a while. Hickory is fairly slow growing but like i said pecan rootstock helps speed it up. It also depends on what you are going for too. if you just want a hickory wooded area you will be fine with 20 by 20. But if you are wanting hickory for nut production 20 by 20 would eventually crowd out from what I've heard from other experts who have mature hickory groves for nut production. Bud Luers says 40 to 50 ft and he has one of the oldest stands of hickory nut producing trees probably in the US. Other expert hickory nut growers like Fred Blankenship or Larry Daulton recommend 30 to 40 ft spacing. Pecans require 60-100ft spacing. They are more wide spreading. I set my hickory nut trees up with 30 to 40 ft spacing because I'm it it for nut production so all the trees are open ventilated the whole way around to avoid scab development and increase pollen receptivity.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Well, I'll take it all to heart as I'm deciding.

Thanks much, treebird.

Dax


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Hello Tree Bird,
I have a Mockernut Hickory that I left growing in one of my pastures. It has started to produce nuts in just the last few years and I feel that it is worth investigating. The nuts are a good size and flavorful. I could send you some later this summer if your interested.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Here's how I do it. I collect Shagbark Hickory nuts in November from the ground. C. ovata is not native here so I really have to scout around to find the trees. Put nuts in bottomless bands as shown, usually two or three per pot. They germinate sporatically the following Spring/Summer. Notice the one on the right has just recently germinated. I have a poor germination rate, perhaps because many are infected with an insect???
 photo 07-31-13001.jpg


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Seedlings look great sam md. You can tell which nuts are more viable by floating them. I usually fill a 5 gallon bucket up with water and throw handfuls of nuts I've collected into the water. The ones that sink to the bottom are good and don't have the kernels eaten by weevils. The ones that float get burned in the trash. someday those seedlings might make great trees to graft onto.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

james are you sure it's a mockernut? mockernut can be edible but usually difficult to crack with small amount of kernel. You can tell for sure if it is a mockernut by the buds on the tree. The buds would be more rounded and less pointy like on a shag or shell. Shagbark has a more narrow, longer pointy bud structure and shellbark has a more larger, plump pointed bud structure. Usually shagbark and shellbark hickory contain more desirable nut characteristics. Not saying that you might not have something there, if not a good nut you would have a beautiful strong tree. I will certainly check them out if you want me to asses its characteristics.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Agreed. Most mockernuts are not worth the effort to try cracking that thick, internally-convoluted shell for the small fragments of nutmeat that you might be able to tease out.
But there's been at least one selection found with what must have been decent cracking characteristics - I got a scion - variety name was something like 'Lakeside' or 'Lakeview' - from David Johnson many years ago - and got a 'take' of it, but accidentally pruned it off.
Otherwise, mockernuts (nuts & husks) are great for crushing & cooking down to use in making a really nice hickory syrup, with great flavor.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Does mockernut have the same chromosome count as bitternut, shag, shell, or pecan? I thought it was different and couldn't be grafted to anything but mockernut. I heard of lakeview but never seen the nut.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

believe mockernut is 64(?) - double the chromosome number of those mentioned. But, I had it going on pecan understock - but I don't know how long it might have persisted.

Think, in my inaugural season grafting nut trees, I had a successful graft of Lindauer shellbark on what was probably a mockernut seedling - graft grew well the first year, but 'woke up dead' the next spring.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Yeah I've had the best luck grafting onto pecan rootstock. I've even had better luck on pecan with some shellbark that I've tried grafting onto shellbark rootstock. I'm sort of impatient so I like to hurry things along by grafting them onto pecan anyway. I know its best to graft onto shagbark rootstock if you are planting on an upland site because the shagbark is highly drought tolerant.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Today I went out with the family to pluck some hickory nuts from trees at a local park here in Iowa. Now is an ideal time of year to get a good idea of which native trees have nuts with good potential. Hickory nut kernels are in their water stage but the shells are fully developed. This way you can usually examine the nuts before the squirrels. By sawing the nuts shuck and all in half you can study the rib pattern. Size isn't everything but at first glance I make sure trees are healthy, very productive and the shucks are large. You can find a small nut in a large shuck but you can't find a large nut in a tiny shuck. Now you cant pry open the shuck to check out the size of the nut at this point but you can set the nuts shuck and all in the oven at 350 for 15 mins and then let them cool. After they are cool, the shuck can be separated from the nut. I found 3 candidates today out of 30 trees and only one of the 3 has some potential.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

The 3 candidates in husk.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Nuts are cut in half. You can see T1 has a more desirable two ribbed cavity. T2 has uneven cavities with the bottom cavity split which will only guarantee quarters and not a half. T3 has the thinnest shell but teardrop shaped ribs that could potentially trap the kernel especially the bottom portion of the nut. T1 was most productive, T2 was 2nd in production and T3 had the least amount of nuts hanging from the tree but had the largest nut. All were average in size for Iowa shagbark nuts. I will try to go back and visit T1 and T3 to sample the nuts if I can get to them before the squirrels do. T1 appears to have more desirable characteristics do to the rib pattern and productivity but all in all nothing made my jaw drop today.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

This is a close up of T1


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Closeup of T2


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

A closeup of T3


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

I'm pretty sure the tree is a Mocker Nut Hickory. When I was first trying to identify it I researched the different types of hickories because I wasn't familiar with the Mocker nuts. I checked on it the other day. It has a lot of nuts on it but not loaded with nuts. I'll see if I can get some photos.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Shagbark hickory has a distinguishing characteristic that's worth noting. I've linked here Will Cook's excellent factsheet, scroll down and see the last pic. The teeth on the leaflet have hair tufts on Shagbarks, this is lacking on other hickories.

Here is a link that might be useful: Shagbark Hickory Factsheet


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

I just threw this layout together to give you guys a contrast in size and varieties of the various types of hickory, pecan and their hybrids. The 3 hicans pictured are shellbark crossed with pecan. You can see the massive hybrid nut that is created. Hicans are professed to be shy bearers but that's not the case with some cultivars. They are also fast growing beautiful ornamentals as well with very healthy foliage. Enjoy


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

I have absolutely *nothing* to add to this conversation, but somehow I think that I'd feel somewhat remiss if I did not post of how much that I've enjoyed sitting in on it.

Keep up the great work everyone!

Brad N.IL/Z5


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

I also have nothing to contribute but only two observations I made on hickories around here.
One hickory around my workplace has the most incredible foliage of any tree I have ever seen. It is quite distinct from other hickory which tend to have fairly thin leaves. This one has very meaty leaves, dark green and the veins are prominently yellow, giving this incredible contrast. Last year, in the deepest drought iowa has seen in years, the foliage looked pristine. It is supposed to be a carya ovata but the bark is not shaggy. It almost looks like what a shagbark would look if you would strip off all the strips of bark...
The other hickory which was interesting was one that is supposed to be a pignut but that has shaggy bark (can pignut have shaggy bark, I don't think so, right?). I picked an immature nut from the tree and I smelled it. It had a very strong citrousy smell! I did not expect that!

Overall, I believe it is a wonderful genus. If only all of them would have the kind of foliage I observe on the first specimen that I have described.... Many of them unfortunately tend to have foliage that looks like aesculus hippocastanum.... very thin and flimsy foliage, especially in the shaded parts of the tree.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Ok, I wanted to share this with all my hickory loving friends. I was on the phone today with my friend Mr Fred Blankenship who sent me a picture of an albino Simpson #1 seedling. Now the likelihood of this tree surviving is probably not going to happen but he is going to send it to me as is in the pot with the other Simpson#1 seedling that sprouted up along side of it. He said he's had this happen once before with another hickory seedling and also with a black walnut. Neither one of them survived once the nut cavity energy was used up. I was racking my brain today wondering how I could manage to get this thing to survive. After a few hours of failed attempts to find any solution online, I came across an article about these rare albino sequoias that grow in locations that are kept secret but photos and information are available. supposedly these young albino sequoias graft them selves into the root systems of the parent tree that is not an albino lacking chlorophyll or they sprout from the root system. Now in hard times of drought and nutrient deficiency these trees suffer to near death but then regenerate. They call them ghosts of the sequoia forests. So I think you guys get where I am going with this. I'm very curious to see if I cant somehow combine the root systems in the pot. This is an extremely rare opportunity, so if anyone has any input on root grafting, I would greatly appreciate it. I would assume that if success is reached with grafting the root systems together, then it would be wise to graft branches together as the trees grow side by side.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

These are the steps I use in early evaluation of hickory nuts. First is finding a good tree that is productive, healthy, and appears to have a large nut. After you find this tree then tag it with permanent marker on bright vinyl tape and write the same ID on the nuts you gather from this tree.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Now when you get your nuts home preheat your oven to 350. Lay your nuts in an order you will remember on a cake pan or cookie sheet. I use butter knifes as a divider. It helps to write down on a sheet of paper the nuts location in the pan because after they've been cooking for 15-20 mins, the husk will be solid black and you cannot see the ID any longer on the husk.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

The nuts are done.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

After they cool, you want to pry a knife between the sutures of the husk and wal-laa. The husk pops off from around the nut. Now its time to let them dry for an hour and then saw them in half to examine the cavity.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

I just wanted to show that a large husk doesn't always mean that the nut is going to be large. This you can see in a side by side comparison between Scholl and Henning Shellbark. Now I have noticed that a tree that produces a much larger husk often takes longer to develop. In this case Henning was much further past the water stage of nut development while Scholl was just beginning the water stage of nut development.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

tb,
Mine haven't produced any nuts yet, so I can't attest to the veracity, but Paul Cotner claims that 'Gary' shellbark is 'squirrel-proof' - the husk is so large that squirrels can't hold onto it, and so thick that they (supposedly) get tired and give up before they're able to chew through to the nut. The husk does not come free from most, even when they drop from the tree, but it pops off easily if you insert a knifeblade or screwdriver into the suture lines.
I see Gary on the display board photo you posted - bottom of second row from the left.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Gary does have a very large husk but Scholl has an even bigger husk. Here's a photo of some various nuts in their husks in a side by side comparison. Merel's Best is another nut with a very large husk. Gary has a pretty thick shelled nut underneath that husk too so I would imagine it would give squirrels a run for their money.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Scholl Hickory Nut


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Gary Hickory Nut


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Merel's Best Hickory Nut


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Henning Shellbark Hickory


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Mitch Russel Shellbark/Shagbark Hybrid Hickory


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Early Dehusked Nuts for Evaluation.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

*Timidly raising my hand in the back row of the classroom*

Is 'Gary' a Shagbark or a Shellbark? I'm guessing Shellbark by the seven leaflets. I don't see many of those around here, so I'm somewhat intrigued by them.

Brad N.IL/Z5


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Hey Brad, no need to be timid. All questions are welcome. Gary is a shellbark. Sometimes shagbarks can have 7 leaflets but more commonly 5. Shellbarks are usually 7 to 9 but some reports say they've seen even more than that. The genetic make of up hickory is extremely vast. The Mitch Russel Hickory is a hybrid and has a combination of 5 and 7 leaflets on the same tree. So many things can vary in hickory genetics. I've seen shagbarks around here that have bark that looks like oak. as a rule of thumb Shellbark has a much larger leaf and much larger nut with usually a thicker shell. Shellbarks also have been reported to be more scab resistant. All around they are very beautiful trees. I've never found one growing here in Iowa. Usually I find shagbark, bitternut, mockernut and pignut hickories.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

I also have to comment that today during my conversation with Fred Blankenship, he said that the Scholl nuts he sent me in the above photos had an unusually large husk. They were larger on the tree he cut them from that was growing near Gary. He believes from his experience that pollen can have a first generation influence on the husk size. He said he has seen it in hickory and black walnut. I can't say I would disagree, one because he has way more experience and I am far from being an expert, and two I'm a gardener who has had first hand experience with planting hot peppers too close to my sweet peppers. Nothing like accidentally biting into a newly created yellow bell jalapeno.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Taken today on the lower part of a young pecan tree. I rarely if ever use insecticide. Am not really concerned about these, should I be? What are they?
 photo 08-11-13003.jpg


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

They appear to be some sort of tent worm but I dont see any web tent. I wouldn't worry about an insecticide. Dosen't seem like anything a big shoe couldn't take care of. I would definetly get rid of them. They are obviously using your tree as a host.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Longnecker Shellbark


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Fayette Shellbark


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Henning Shellbark


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Preston 7 Shellbark


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Merel's Best Shellbark


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Scholl Shellbark


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Gary Shellbark


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Radabaugh Shagbark


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Mitch Russel Hybrid Shellbark/Shagbark


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Garnett, Mitchell #3, Mitchell#1 Shellbarks


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

tb,
I've got one shagbark, selected from a big, old tree here on the farm, that looks a lot like Radabaugh - VERY thin shell - thinner than some pecans; but, being in deep woods, it's not a heavy producer, and, I presume, to some degree because of its thin shell, weevils hit it hard - and it's hard to beat the squirrels to any nuts that fill.
I've gotten my hands on maybe a half-dozen nuts, if that many - not sure how well it cracks out, as I planted those nuts(not sure where those seedlings are, today).
First branch is at least 40 ft up; I used my .22 rifle to clip off a 1" branch, several years ago, and have 2 or 3 grafts of it growing here - hopefully, it'll be more productive on pecan in an open site where it has less competition.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Sounds very interesting Lucky. Hopefully you can up the production in an open area like you said. Fred says that Mitch Russel produces a larger nut on pecan, so I don't doubt the possibilities. He said the owner of that tree said it produced so many nuts it completely covered the ground with nuts in the fall. Yesterday was the first time I was able to get a look at Radabaugh. It does have a VERY thin shell. I beleive it's from Pennsylvania, where Keystone and Fayette shellbark are from. I found a nut this year that Fred is pretty impressed with that I call Bullet. The tree is very productive and produces a long nut, almost like a pecan. It has a two ribbed cavity but its too early to give it the crack out test. I will put some pics up later. It is an exceptionally healthy foliated tree and is an extremely drought tolerant upland shagbark. I would like some wood from your Garnett shellbark next year.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

  • Posted by lkz5ia z5 west iowa (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 15, 13 at 18:44

This genus has the best tasting nuts. Interesting that there are so many selections.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

I agree they are the best tasting with some having the flavor of a tiny cookie. Many don't even know that you can eat hickory nuts. I've heard them referred to as the poor mans pecan. Though I really enjoy pecans I still prefer hickory nuts over them. Depending on the nut they can be sweet, buttery, rich, and complex in flavor. I think that those who've never eaten them are really missing out on a good treat.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

In case you couldn't tell, I am a hickory NUT. But...
If I'm just gonna sit down and eat nuts, I still prefer a handful of pecans - but for baking, it's hickories, hands-down.
If you've ever had hickory pie, pecan just doesn't cut it anymore. Better than a poke in the eye, but still...second-place.
Currently eating a batch of zucchini bread/muffins made with a generous helping of chopped hickory nuts mixed in...Mmmmm.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Now that sounds like a great way to start off the morning! Zucchini hickory nut muffins and a nice cup of coffee! I have never tried hickory nut pie but I was told it is absolutely delicious! Well thanks, I just ate and now I'm hungry again but I have a big appetite anyway. You'll have to post that recipe Lucky.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Today a great discovery has been made at Lake Icaria in Iowa about 40 miles North from my house. It had several nuts on the tree but this was one that was plucked from a lower branch. I am definitely going to view this as a graftable shagbark. This is so far the best shag discovery I've made personally. I call this cultivar Lake Icaria.

This post was edited by treebird on Tue, Sep 3, 13 at 13:41


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

A side by side of a few nuts with Lake Icaria in the picture. I spent all last weekend collecting samples of hickory nuts as far south as St. Joseph Missouri to as far North as lake Icaria in Iowa. Finally found one with an incredible cavity and good size for an Iowa Shagbark.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Low and Behold the "Bullet Shagbark", an extremely heavy producer of nuts able to lay them out on clusters of seven and no this tree is not a hican.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Cluster of seven on the bullet shagbark tree.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Fully Loaded "Bullet" shagbark Tree during a hot drought this year in South West Iowa.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Hi Treebird, you've really outdone yourself with this topic. It's very rare when a poster goes into such depth. When dealing with so many cvs sooner or later the topic of grafting must come up.
I have used Summer grafting with j. maples, dogwoods etc with much luck. I thought i would try it with pecans. The scion leaves are removed however the petioles left. The side graft is made and the plant is put either under double glass or mist/fog. It is remarkable that within 14 days petioles fall off with just a tap and the union is knitted. At this point the graft is allowed to go into dormancy naturally and the top of the understock removed next Spring.
Share some of your grafting techniques with us.
 photo 09-02-13002.jpg


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Pretty slick there sam. The grafts of yours look great! I generally have better success grafting hickory onto pecan because I've found it to callous faster and grow faster. I can even graft onto pecan rootstock the same year that i put the bare-root seedlings into the ground. I found para film to be a must in all my grafting.It enables the wood to stay moist while callousing and once calloused the growth pushes right though the film. Sort a miniature inexpensive greenhouse. I've had plenty of success with pecan and hickory only about 50% success with black walnut and no success with butternut or heartnut. I just buy my butternut and heartnut from nurseries. This year I had 100% success with my hickory doing plain old whips, which surprised me especially when it snowed three times and had low temps after I grafted them. I use four flaps and modified bark grafting generally which work great. I love my hickory and people are really missing out on a fine nut if they've never tried them.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

I went to the Lake Icaria tree today to check on the nut maturity situation. I found about 15 nuts that were ready. Let me just say, this tree can feed your family and I found not one weevil larvae in any nut! The nuts cracked so great, I was banging out halves like nothing and the kernel is light, sweet and oily! I will be grafting several trees of this cultivar.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Lake Icaria Hickory Nut in a beautiful healthy husk as shiny as an apple at the grocery store.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

This tree is approximately 50ft high and has a 40ft crown, which is a very spreading specimen for a shagbark. Pictured below the tree is my 6 and 7 year old.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

As you can see the tree is a VERY healthy specimen. There is nothing this tree doesn't have. I will have wood available early next spring.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Wonderful thread.

I have a few hickories and a hican grafted here at my place here in Oklahoma, but I have lost the names to them. Most have nuts this year and it is exciting to see how they turn out. (The hican is my favorite "foliage tree".) Other than two native mockernuts that produce regularly, these are surrounded by a pure sea of pecans - about 50 cultivars and a couple thousand native trees.

It's nice to see someone else with the same level of excitement I have about nut production.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

  • Posted by beng z6 western MD (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 10, 13 at 8:27

treebird, how old is the 50' shagbark in your last pics? I'll hazard a guess of 35 yrs.

A couple forest bitternuts just upslope of me are 100-110' ft tall, outgrowing the surrounding canopy.

Below is a large bitternut:

This post was edited by beng on Tue, Sep 10, 13 at 8:31


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Hey scottokla, I really enjoy my pecans also. I have Mandan, Kanza and Peruque grafted here. I have two of each tree. Hicans don't always turn out to be the expectations of a pecan or a hickory. I've spoken to many who have hicans producing and I have sampled many nuts. T-92 goes strait to the top of the list for flavor and quality. It's a unique nut with a smooth cherry colored shell that cracks out a tasty white kernel. It also is a decent sized nut. I know of another man who has all the good ones and he really enjoys the Underwood Hican. He says its the best cracking of all the hicans. I will be sampling it this fall hopefully. I will get some pictures up if this opportunity occurs. I know the James Hican is a medium grade hican that bears heavily and annually, worth grafting. It has a good flavor but once you've tried T-92 it steals the show. All in all nothing compares to a good shagbark hickory nut with a nice buttery maple flavor. Simpson 1 shellbark also has an outstanding flavor. When I hunt for hickory I look for that flavor that makes you think you're eating a small maple cookie. This Lake Icaria hickory nut gives you that experience. I went out this Sunday to the tree and gathered a 5 gallon bucket full of nuts. The shuck was already splitting and in the bucket was just what I could reach which is only a small portion of the crop from the tree. The tree appears to be lateral bearing. Beng, I would guess the tree is older than that based on its heavy production even I can't give an estimate of it's age. Bitternut is one of your most vigorous hickory species. I would have to say they can grow at a rate of three times that of a shagbark. They have the same amount of chromosomes as shag, shell, and pecan but the nut is inedible.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

My Hican seems to be nothing special nut-wise, although the nuts grow quickly to a large size and look really big in the shuck. I will try to post images of the nuts in a month or so and get opinions in what they are.

I also have Mandan, Kanza, and Peruque pecans among others. I like things about each of them although this is the first years I will get many Mandan nuts. I am a sucker for a pretty tree and a disease-free nut and none of these meet both of those desires. I wish I could get the tree and foliage of Peruque, Nacono , or Waco to go with the disease resistant nut of Kanza, Oconee, or Osage. The two trees that do the best job of this so far for me are Lakota and an experimental variety 64-4-2.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Very interesting scottokla. Here in Iowa I am very limited on pecan varieties that i can grow but I cant really complain too much because I'm pretty pleased with the three varieties I am growing. I'll be looking forward to seeing those hicans. I might be able to help you figure out the cultivar you are growing.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

I bet Peruque does not scab as much there as it does here since you get cooler at night. It is a great tree for me. Posey is my all-around favorite tree for yards, but not a big money-producer I am told.

Wes Rice has a book that talks a lot about northern pecan cultivars. It's worth trying to find.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

I have Wes Rice's book. I don't think you can do a better job on a book! I absolutely love it. I wish some one could do a book like that on hickory.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Just showing off the Lake Icaria's beautiful grade A+++ top quality tasty kernels! This is again one of the finest hickory nuts out there!


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Does anyone here handle nut trees in containers? The smaller one pictured below is 15", I use it for grafting. They are shifted up to the larger one. One drawback is that these kind of containers must have some kind of support to keep them from falling over, otherwise the depth is great to accomodate the root system.
 photo 09-15-13002.jpg


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

I know Fred Blankenship uses those same long pots for growing his hickory seedlings out. He told me that he keeps all his upright against each other in old livestock mineral lick tubs or plastic totes.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

I was able to hunt down some hican pictures on the USDA website. They were well hidden but I found them, HA HA HA! Ok, I'm nuts about nuts. Here they are. I hope these photos will satisfy your curiosity. First the "Mccallister" hican. I don't recommend this one, except for novelty purposes. It's a giant for real!


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Next is the "Underwood" Hican. I was told by a trustworthy source that this is the absolute best cracking of all the hicans. It also bears great. My kind of nut. I hope to graft it next year. It's an attractive nut but the kernel seems dark. Well that's usually the case with most hicans except for T-92 and Hershey.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Here is the "Hershey" Hican. My trustworthy source says this one has a good nut but it is too shy of a bearer. Most years it doesn't have a nut on the tree. A nice light kernel but my friend says it's going to get cut down in his orchard.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

This is the "Hartman" Hican. I don't know any thing about this tree or its nut, sorry. Here's a photo though.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

IIRC, Hershey and Hartman are both pecanXshagbark, McAllister & Underwood are pecanXshellbark.

McAllister is reputed to be the largest hican - and, as you can see with the nutmeat in the USDA photo, it does have one desirable trait, in that in years that are not conducive to complete filling of the kernel, rather than just producing a shriveled 'blank' the entire length of the kernel, it does begin filling from the proximal end - you at least get a partial full kernel instead of nothing.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

I know of a hican that is the absolute largest, even larger than McAllister. This Hican is a Bill Thielenhaus introduction called T-79-3-4. Hes the same guy who never officially introduced T-92 but was the breeder. I know of the only person who has access to the wood and I can get it if anyone is interested. Here's a side by side of McAllister and T-79-3-4. I was also informed that T-79-3-4 is more productive than McAllister and has more filled nuts but often has the same problem as Mcallster. With these large hicans you reach the point of diminishing returns I guess.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Yesterday there was another great hickory nut discovery made. I found the hickory nut with the absolute thinnest shell while Me and my son were out collecting hickory nuts. I named it after him, I call it Tayden. As far as size it is medium, about 6-7 grams. The shell is thinner than Raudabaugh and it cracks out halves very easily.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

treebird, you probably already know this but there is nothing greater in the world than being out discovering new nut trees with a son who enjoys it even half as much as you do.

My Hican here in NE Oklahoma is about 50% complete with shucksplit. It looks like Underwood more than the others. The tree was grafted onto pecan about 7 years ago. It made a dozen nuts last year and about 30 this year.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

My son loves being outdoors helping dad find new discoveries. I've been blessed to have a wife who enjoys gathering nuts also. She is more of a black walnut girl though. My youngest boy likes picking up nuts but he just turned a year old. My middle daughter is the only one who dosent seem interested in finding new discoveries. She likes eating the labor though. Being a fruit and nut explorer is a fun and cheap pass time with great benefits. Sadly with the agricultural corn and soybean boom, many native stands of hickory are being pushed into ditches and burned to make room for corn and beans. It's very sad. Right now on a world wide scale America has the current highest deforestation rate. Even higher than what's being done in the tropical rain forests. There isn't a week that goes by where you don't see bulldozers out in timber going at it here in Iowa. My motivation is the same motivation that inspired Mr. Hickory, Fred Blankenship. If we don't preserve and discover new attributes about this fine nut, it could be lost for good. Right now I'm the only young guy that I know of that has a thriving interest for hickory. Many others won't be around to pass the knowledge and interest forward. Once pecans become commercialized the hickory faded into the background and this nut at one point was considered a finer nut than a pecan by many. I guess if you can't roll it down a conveyer belt and it doesn't put on a crop fast, than it isn't acceptable in the American way. Every time I've ever given a person a rich sweet butterscotch flavored hickory kernel, they all ask the same question...... Where can I buy these?! Ok back on the path here now. If it is Underwood that you have grafted, you should be very pleased. In many discussions with hican growers they all point to the reliability of Underwood and T-92. I'd like to see some photos if you don't mind. I'm curious about the foliage and shucks and nuts themselves.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Hello All -

Wow, great thread - I'm glad I stumbled across it!

What are you all using to saw the nuts in half - band saw? I've been evaluating walnuts, hicans, and hickories here in southeastern PA (seedlings and selected cultivars from two circa 1930 - 70 nurseries/farm sites) and have been struggling with a coping saw! Was thinking about rigging up some kind of jig to make it a little easier.

I'd love to be able to identify some of the selected cultivars I'm harvesting this year. Some of the posts here may help me with that task.

Thanks for all the great posts!

-Pete


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Hey Pete, I just use a plain old hack saw but I'm sure a band saw or scroll saw would work better. If you have any questions about your cultivars just post a pic and I can try to help you with identification. You might even be able to unlock some vaults to other good ones if you have access to those nursery sites. I have nuts from the best Pennsylvania hickory cultivars such as Porter, Fayette, Keystone, and Raudabaugh. A lot of good nuts in PA. I'm originally from Pittsburgh PA but now live in Iowa.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

This has been an interesting read. ....

I successfully grafted some young pecan trees early this year to Kanza, Lakota & Lipan. Now I am smitten with the grafting bug.

I would like to add a Hican to my small orchard this next grafting season.

Thanks all........


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Does anyone have any additional info on the Hershey hican? Any chance it was originated by John W. Hershey? The attached photo is from a local hican growing in southeast PA that I suspect to be a Hershey. I would appreciate any info anyone can provide on the Hershey and/or opinions on what variety this one might be. Nuts are quite tasty, and I would not categorize the tree as a shy bearer, though I don't have much experience with hickory/hican/pecans... Ripe nuts began falling 10/10 this year, though the tree is in a cooler microclimate - other trees in this same planting drop nuts about 1 week later than similar trees in the valley, so the "valley" ripe date for this tree here in the Kennett Square PA area would be approx. 10/3 this year. BTW, bark on this tree looks more like white ash than like any kind of hickory or pecan I'm familiar with...

-Pete
Kennett Square, PA


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

That's very interesting Pete. I might be getting a sample of Hershey from a guy I know who has it grafted, then we can maybe compare to see if it is the same nut. You might just have a new discovery. I cant seem to find any info on the Hershey hican but maybe the USDA website might have some.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Thanks Treebird - I'm sure it's not something new as it came from an old grove that was planted by a nurseryman.

Here's the second hican I'd like to identify (I haven't spent any time trying on this one yet). The nutmeat is sweet, but the brown "skin" on the nutmeat seems to have some astringency to it so I wonder if it may be a bitternut cross...


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

T,
As thin as the shell on that one is, it could be a bitcan. Been years since I saw an Abbott nut, but it looked sort of like those - more pecan character than hickory. I have an Abbott seedling growing here, but it's never done much. No vigor. Has terminal buds that look like bitternut - but Pleas bitcan doesn't really reveal its bitternut heritage, except in the appearance of the nut - and undesirable astringency most years.

Hershey nuts I've seen are a bit 'plumper' than those in the first set of photos. Oops. Now that I think about it, I was thinking 'Henke', not Hershey.

This post was edited by lucky_p on Fri, Nov 1, 13 at 10:37


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

I would have to agree on the second hican photo that it definitely has bitternut in it. The ridges on the husk and shape and color of the kernel give that away. Plus the nut clearly looks bitternut itself. A bitcan it is but I would have no idea what cultivar if it is, if it is in fact a known cultivar. More pictures Pete! Great job by the way. Hicans are some what of a rarity to people so it is nice to see photos and discussions of what is out there.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Here is a newly recognized shellbark nut called "LOCK". This thing is a monster! 5 nuts weighed 6 oz.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Typically these giant shellbarks aren't worth grafting because of the cavity and shell thickness, but there is a lot of kernel going on here and a very open cavity. This is not my discovery but a friend's friend's friend's tree. Take a look : )


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Wow! I've got what I thought was a large-nutted shell in one of my bee yards, but that one puts it to shame! Good name for it for sure - its size and shell thickness might make it useful in a breeding project (are there any hickory breeding projects that exist?). How productive is it and how's its flavor? From my experience, shellbarks have a real nice mild flavor that's just not quite as "nutty" as a shag - though I did collect quite a few of them this year and love them because they crack out cleanly and are significantly larger than the shags I have access to (that the squirrels don't eat first). Keep posting!

-Pete


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Here's a pic of the large-nutted shellbark from my bee yard for comparison. It's a good tree and reasonably tasty nut. My only complaint is that the shell is quite thick, but with a good nut cracker it cracks out reasonably well (the other half cracked out in pieces so I ate it ;) Unfortunately the owner of the tree plans to cut it down this winter because it hangs over the road and he's afraid it's going to crack a windshield one of these days :(


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

More nuts (pecans, obviously) I'm trying to ID. I'm not entirely sure the bottom four are not the same variety, but I *think* they're two different varieties. The bottom two varieties are earlier, and the top two varieties are about 10 days later. I have a list of nuts presumably grown at the location where these were found - just need to match them up...


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Hey Pete, that Shellbark has a thick shell but the rib pattern looks superior. Is there any way you can email me and possibly send me a few of those nuts. You might have a good one there with those two short ribs instead of 4 long protruding ribs. I would like to sample the nuts from your shellbark and pass some on to Fred Blankenship, one of the best authorities on hickory. You can email me through the gardenweb site and I can give you my mailing address. There have been no breeding programs for hickory that I know of. I know that Fred Blankenship has many seedlings of superior cultivars but I'm unaware if any have reached production yet.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Sorry this took longer than it should have. I was away, then held off until I'd bought some Play Doh to hold the cut halves and sideways nuts in place for the photo ;) Seeing all of these together brings out some interesting points. First, despite its shell being smaller than the others, the original tree's nutmeats are approximately the same size as the two younger trees, both of which have larger shelled nuts. Second, there is a fair bit of difference between the nutmeat shapes. The "Street" nut, which has the largest shelled nut, also has the least convoluted nutmeat. The original tree ("Yard") is second, and the "Shed" tree nutmeats seem to have the most convoluted shape (though not badly so). Note that the cut through the "Street" nut was more toward the top than the other two, so you don't see as much of the convolution in the cross section.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

I would definitely have to say that the "street" nut is the collectable one. Great observations by the way and thanks for taking the time out to share the photos with us. You'll have to get you a Mr. Hickory Nut Cracker from Fred Blankenship. It's the only nut cracker I know of that has the power to bust right through any thick shellbark nut.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Well... I like black walnut (I've got two 5-gallon pails full of cleaned in-shell Thomas and similar nuts) and have two "serious" nutcrackers that easily do the job. One is a locally made cracker that I bought at a friend's Amish produce stand, and the other is an antique. Both are made to crack black walnuts, but work well with other less formidable nuts as well, though the "Street" hickory ranks right up there next to black walnut protection-wise! ;)


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Nothing comes to mind immediately for the pecans shown. They look like a hundred natives that I have. If you can put a list up of ones that are on the property I might be able to come up with something. Also, where is the property located and what was the approximate maturity date of the earlier two?


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Thanks Scott. Pecans known to have been grown on the property at one time or another are: Busseron, Green River, Indiana, Posey. Burton is also listed but I question whether this variety is actually a hican. Shuck split on the "early" nuts this year at a valley location near Kennett Square PA was 10/11, which was right around the same time the black walnuts in the same area had dropped the majority of their nuts. The later nuts in the top row split shuck about a week later, maybe a little more.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

pxb,
The USDA Pecan Breeding & Genetics website has an alphabetical list of pecan cultivars, with descriptions, and photos of a lot of 'em. May help narrow the field.
Also, KSU has a 'northern pecan pictorial' pdf file - google it; it may help.

Oh, by the way, I did get one graft of your 'wild pear' going this spring.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Thanks, Lucky, for the pecan info. Unfortunately the USDA site is down for a redesign - hopefully it comes back up soon. But the KSU sheet is nifty even though it doesn't cover all the nuts in my list - thanks for the helpful info! Glad to hear you got a "take" on one of the pear scions. I haven't stopped by the parent tree yet this fall - may have to drop by this weekend and pick up some rock hard pears. Maybe I'll have a go at cooking some this year and see what I can make of them ;)

-Pete


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Hey Lucky, I got a box from Fred of your Garnett Nuts he passed on to me. I got cracking on them as soon as I opened the box. Me and my youngest son are really enjoying them. He just started talking a while back and now the word "hickory" is in his vocabulary. I gave him a piece of kernel and when he was finished he kept saying Hickory! Hickory!, which meant he wanted more kernel pieces. Fred was telling me that Garnett only missed one crop in 9 years, that certainly ranks high for reliability and it appears to be self pollinating.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

T,
I've been gathering from the Garnett tree for at least 12 years now. Has only missed cropping one year - and that was 2007, the year of our Easter Big Freeze Disaster that destroyed virtually all fruit/nut crops, and killed a lot of trees outright.
It's growing in the middle of a corn/soybean field, so likely benefits from (soil)fertilization that most other hickories are never exposed to.
I've personally gathered at least 25 5-gallon bucketsful of nuts(most still in the husk) from it this year - and there's still a bunch on the ground underneath it.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

T,

I'd like scions of Lake Icaria. I was chatting with Lucky and he said they're very delicious. I believe he said sweet tasting unlike any shagbark he had ever tried Also said the kernel was light colored. Just as you said... This is a great thread. Thank you for the information + photos.

Ate my first hickory yesterday. A shagbark. Was reminiscent of pecan though bland. Cracked it with my vice and went to work. It was from a native at a local forest preserve.

I have to say I'm getting the bug big-time.

Dax


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Lucky, I wish i was a little closer to the tree so I could help clean up underneath it, lol. Dax, Lake Icaria is by far the best tasting shag I have ever eaten second would have to be Porter. Mr. Fred Blankenship says that finding a good hickory is one in a million. Here is a display box library of mine that is near completion. All this one needs is Retzer and Yoder but I should have those coming within a week or so. I'm also getting ready to start another.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

The top right pecan could be Posey. I have some with me now and there are a lot of similarities. I also have some Green River nuts harvested last week but I don't have them available to look at. From my memory I don't think they match any of your 4.

I personally have found it difficult to match my pecans to the USDA site, but Wes Rice's book and the KSU images are much easier to compare.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

I forgot to also mention that Posey reached 50% shucksplit about the end of September for me and Green River was a week or more later this year here in NE Oklahoma.

Posey nuts can be mistaken for a lot of other varieties, but when still in a green shuck they are very unique and easy to identify. Thick, giant shucks with "wings" that reach far out. Plus, they have zero scab here. Green River also has zero scab here.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Since there's been some interest in the "Street" shellbark I posted photos of a few days ago, I thought I'd crack a few more out for an additional look. Yes, the nutmeat is slightly larger than the "Yard" nuts (the mother tree), but the point that sets it apart most is that the "ears" are nearly flat; they don't have that additional ridge that the other shellbarks I've seen have. But boy does it have a formidable shell (that usually does crack nicely though)!

If folks here think this tree might be worth saving, let me know and I'll try to talk the owner into waiting til spring to cut down the tree so I can cut and mail out scions. I'll also let him know that some nut aficionados think it's worth saving, and give him an opportunity to name it, since it is his tree.

-Pete


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Today's find - Bixby (or McAllister) is in shuck split. There are maybe a dozen nuts still hanging on the leafless tree. I'll be lucky if I get 2 or 3 more of them :(


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Great photos Pete! I've never seen a Bixby nut but it does look an awful lot like McAllister.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Killer displays bird. I've swooped up all your pictures. I hope you don't mind. They're an uncommon reference and I don't want to lose this valuable information.

Pete, what is the flavor like of (Street)? Looking above I see you wrote that (bee tree) has 'reasonably good nut flavor'. Is that the same tree?

One question guys: it appears that 'James' which I have is a hican, however I bought it as a Pecan from Stark Brothers. Is this a hican or pecan? And if hican how is the species-written?

Thanks,

Dax


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Not a problem Dax. That's why I post my research. At one point there wasn't much research around and there still isn't. Pecans became the fast food nut and hickory fell off the train. I guess no one every saw market potential in the nut so it didn't make the hall of fame. But with that said, obviously people overlooked the cultivar diversity and the potential. I forgot the fact that you don't need to use harsh fungicides and pesticides to grow a healthy nut producing tree. I have absolutely nothing wrong with growing pecans. I love pecans and have a few trees here but hickory is off the radar due to commercialism. The average person at the grocery store doesn't even know what a hickory nut is. I've just been very blessed to get in contact with an older generation of hickory enthusiast that have been very friendly and helpful in my research. But being from a younger generation (I'm 29), I'm in the technological era of computers where posting pictures and research and having discussions is very convenient. The majority of the hickory nut enthusiast I know don't even have computers but are very helpful through letters, packages and phone calls. Their lives in this hobby are what make my research valuable, especially since a lot of my research is their research. Dax, I know there is a James pecan but at one point Stark Bros. had a James hican variety that was patented that they sold years back. The nut was originally from Missouri. I was told it is a very productive nut but visually you can clearly tell it is a hican. Here is a James hican photo.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Found this Shagbark at a golf course in Rock Island Co. IL. It's a 70'+ tall tree. I came home with three nuts. I was a month late a local forester told me for collecting hickories.
Carya ovata Rock Island Co. IL photo CaryaTPCDeereRun001.jpg

It's now obvious to me the shell on the good cultivars is thin. When I look at the core of this nut from this tree, I clearly see how thick the shell is. Is this the typical shagbark core, or is there much variation and one never knows to what extent?
 photo CaryaTPCDeereRun026.jpg

Dax


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Yeah Treebird, that is a great display. Where did you get all of the different varieties, and how did you get the cutaways so clean?

Dax, I'm afraid I don't have much experience tasting hickories - this is the first year I have more than a few to taste. The three shellbarks from my bee yard all have similar flavor - very mild, but with a light sweetness and nuttiness. Very easy to eat out of hand and my GF likes them in banana nut bread because they're nice and mild (she can't stand black walnut, which I love). I've tasted them against the shagbarks I collected this year and there's not a whole lot of flavor difference. The street/yard/shed nuts all have a slightly lighter flavor and maybe a little less "creaminess," though not a whole lot, and I don't know if it's because my shagbarks aren't that great, or if my shellbarks are!


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Dax - I have shag nuts from 6 or 7 different trees, some of which I believe are selections for their nuts (vs. for their tree form/foliage). I'll cut them open this weekend or early next week and post photos. The nuts themselves are very different in size and shape, and I suspect also in shell thickness.

Slightly off-topic, but has anyone on this thread made hickory syrup? You make it from the bark, not the sap. I made a bunch last fall, roughly following the instructions here: http://goo.gl/eSjQtZ. It's DELICIOUS! The one trick if you decide to make it is be sure you toast the chips enough (but don't burn them), else you don't get a smokey enough flavor.

-Pete

Here is a link that might be useful: Syrup Recipe

This post was edited by pxbacher on Sat, Nov 2, 13 at 13:06


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Thanks for that photo, treebird. My tree is only 5 years in the ground. I'll await. Stark Bros. at the same time sold to me a seedling as the pollinator for "James" of 'Missourri Mammoth Hickory Nut' which I'm well aware now is a Carya laciniosa.

I've since learned that good pecan pollination occurs with more than (1) seedling. "Lucky" schooled me on that some time ago. It's not misleading that Stark Brothers is saying the Missouri Mammoth Hickory is a good pollinator however, 10 or more trees will make better pollinators due to time of flowering. I may get lucky, it's not likely though.

Pete, treebird and Frank should evaluate the taste of (Street) since it cracks easily and has a well shaped cavity. It didn't take me long as a rookie to taste the bitterness & blandness of the golf shagbark nut. It tasted non-creamy and left an astringent aftertaste. 1 in a million I guess as treebird stated.......that's why Lake Icaria is on my now list.

Cheers,

Dax


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

pete,
I've been making hickory syrup for years, using the nutshells left over after I crack and pick out the nutmeats. Usually throw in a few husks as well - but I don't roast anything.
Just boil the nutshell fragments all day, then strain, add 1.5 cups sugar per cup of 'hickory liquor', cook it down another couple of hours, then ladle into canning jars.
Coworker here makes it using strips of bark peeled off the trees - but she cooks her bark & husks in the crockpot.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Pete my nuts are from several sources of hickory enthusiast. I will soon have that display box completed and then also another completed within the next few weeks then you all will get a view of almost everything that is out there in a side by side comparison. I thank these enthusiast greatly including you lucky for you contributions of Garnett and Sinking Fork. Maybe we can get this Morris#1 in the next box. I am getting a hican display box ready too, which will be nice but I wont have the nuts sawn in half for display. With the packing material in hicans what does it matter anyway. As for the hickory nut preparation, I saw all my nuts in half with a hack saw and then pick the nut meat out with some pick tools. What ever pieces might be left within the shell, I just blow out with my air hose. This makes the cavity interior nice and visible.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

Just wanted to show you guys a nut and cross section of a shagbark selection called "Pilot". The shell is too thin to crack out with a Mr. Hickory Nutcracker but a regular hand pecan cracker works great. My only critique about this nut is that the tip of the ribs turn broad instead of a continual narrow taper. But all in all I rate this nut high. If you are interested in wood from this cultivar, I would get in touch with Clifford England from England's Orchard and Nursery.


 o
RE: Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production

I spoke with a gentleman who is the president of the Iowa Nut Growers Association, Gary Fernald, and he's taking me on his wing to show me where the native shellbark, pecan, hican, & shagbarks are in the Mercer Co. & surrounding counties/areas of IL (and IA) are located.

Gary read this thread and said he was surprised his favorite shellbark, 'Selbhers' from George McDaniels Farm (IL) hasn't been mentioned. It's at Nebraska's 'trial' 'farm'. It's also in his collection.

Since the 70's he's named (2) pecans, 'Canton' & 'Mullahy'. He may join GW to comment on this thread, or, he's going to email cross section photos of 'Selbher' that I'll post. I don't recall at the moment if his pecan selections are in this thread, if not, I'll ask for those or he'll post photos his-self.

I'd like Gary to pop in but he said in some (populated) areas of forest where 'you cannot walk five feet without stepping on shellbark nuts', there are potentials looming in these areas that should be considered for propagation. There's work to do, nuts to saw, etc-

Dax

continued discussion:
Growing Hickory and Hican for Nut Production (2)

This post was edited by gardener365 on Sun, Dec 8, 13 at 19:34


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: This thread has reached the upper limit for the number follow-ups allowed (150). If you would like to continue this discussion, please begin a new thread using the form on the main forum page.


Return to the Trees Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here