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Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

Posted by najoba 8b (najoba@hotmail.com) on
Sun, Nov 4, 07 at 23:24

My hubby and I just spent a laborious morning yesterday picking up hickory nuts from our driveway. We must have fifty pounds of them (including hulls). With all the rain we had this year, we have a bumper crop.

Last year, I ordered a special nut cracker that definitely worked, but never got around to picking the nut meat out of the cracked shells. This year, I didn't even have time to crack them.

We were thinking about dumping them in the forest for the squirrels. Are these nuts worth anything? Would anyone want hickory nuts? What about hickory saplings? Or should I just make the forest critters happy?

Nancy


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

Put them up for sale on ebay, someone will buy them. It helps to know what kind of hickory it is though.


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

Yep. Friend of mine sold $250 worth of shagbark hickory nuts year before last on Ebay - I think she was getting $3.50/lb.
However, only shagbark & shellbark hickory are going to garner any significant interest - the others have shells too thick and convoluted to allow reasonable extraction of nutmeats.


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

Speaking of hickory nuts, I saw lots of nuts under a big tree at an abandoned house in the country near here. I gathered and planted about a dozen of them in places where I'd like a hickory to grow - I don't have any growing naturally on my property. I think they're probably mockernut hickory nuts, but I'm not sure - the shells were real thick, and I didn't attempt to crack the nuts inside.
I also gathered and planted some viburnum nudum seeds down in the wettest parts of my property where an intermittent stream flows - I'm feeling like Johnny appleseed these days!
Sherry


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

The most common wild hickory in some areas is bitternut and thats worthless


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

I'll take pictures of the nuts, bark and leaves and post them here tomorrow. Maybe someone can identify the type. I do have two gorgeous shagbark hickory trees down by the creek. I'll have to take a run down there to see if I can find any of those nuts. Usually the wild critters get there before I do.

I'm not sure what kind of hickory nut this is -- it is rather smooth, a pretty nut on the outside, but the shells are thick and it's hard to get the nut meats out. They do have a good taste, though.

We have many kinds of hickory trees on our place. Some hickories in our area of East Texas are called pig nuts. I guess they are only fit for feeding to pigs.

Hickory wood is very valuable for gourmet barbecue. I wasn't sure if anyone would be interested in growing the trees for this purpose.


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

"Hickory wood is very valuable for gourmet barbecue"

No offense, but that line made me laugh a bit, since that's the only wood used to make BBQ up here in Eastern KS/Western MO (especially the KC area). It's not really considered BBQ(gourmet or not) in this area, unless it's made with Hickory. I know that can come off sounding arrogant or something, but it's not meant to be! I guess that's the big difference between BBQ in Texas and up here, Mesquite vs. Hickory (although they use quite a bit of Mesquite in Southern KS BBQ too).


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

"They do have a good taste, though"

That counts out Bitternut Hickory, then!

Resin


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

Mockernut hickory is the most common one where I live. The nuts of those taste good too, but they're hard as heck to get into.


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

kman -- have you seen the pricey packages of hickory wood offered for sale in the gourmet food magazines? I was amazed! If I were more ambitious, I'd run outside and plant all these hickory nuts.


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

lol najoba,

It is ridiculous how they package something in a small bag and jack up the price, simply because it's in a gourmet food store or magazine. It's kind of like how bales of straw go for $6 each at the local nursery, while I can go down the road and buy it from a farmer for about $2. Many other similar examples I see in the stores.


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

I have seen people use pecan wood for smoking meats too.


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

Yep. Pecan is in the hickory family, and I use it more than true hickory for smoking - mainly 'cuz I've usually got plenty of small pieces of pecan limbs lying around following pruning/grafting sessions on my young trees.
Back home in AL, there were way more young volunteer pecans growing around the farm - courtesy of the squirrels, jays, and crows - than there were hickories, so if I were smoking some meat, it was a simple thing to pick out one growing in an undesirable spot - or one with a sizeable low limb - and whack it off to add some flavor.

I've made hickory syrup by boiling shagbark nutshell fragments(after I pick out the nutmeats) & mockernut nuts & hulls, straining the 'liquor', adding sugar, and cooking down to desired thickness. There are other folks around the country who make hickory bark syrup by doing the same thing, only with strips of shagbark bark pulled from the trees.


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That's interesting, Lucky!
I've never heard of hickory syrup - folks around here only make cane syrup.
Sherry


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Mmmm...it all sounds good. Up here we have to settle for maple syrup. ;)


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

Pecans/hickories & walnuts can all be 'tapped' for their sap, similarly to maples. There was a paper sometime in the last few years - NNGA proceedings, I think - that detailed a taste-test comparison between Black walnut syrup and maple syrup - with the walnut coming out a distinct favorite. Seems like it had details with regard to sap output at various times based on size of trees, yield of syrup per given volume of sap collected, etc.

Boiling nuts, nutshells, husks, and yes, even bark from hickories, however, gives a nice flavorful 'liquor' which can be sweetened & cooked down further to yield a very tasty syrup - and you can do it at times of the year when the sap is not 'running'. There's a restaurant in the Cookeville, TN area that is know for its 'hickory bark butter' - a spread made by whipping syrup(made from hickory bark) into softened butter.


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

Hmm, maybe that explains all those sapsucker holes in my pecan trees then. They go after the pecan and maple trees most often, and rarely touch the oaks.


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A Market for Black Walnuts?

What about black walnuts? Is there a demand for them? I spent the nice cool morning with friends picking up loads of them, with still more available.

Thanks for the syrup info, I am definitely going to try that.


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

Yes. Hammons Products, in Stockton MO, is the leading buyer and processor of black walnut nuts - they usually have buying stations all around the Midwest & Eastern US - there are three within 50 miles of me. Don't know what the going rate is - usually in the neighborhood of $8-$10/100lb hulled nuts. They have hulling machines that clean the nuts prior to weighing.

Here's one blurb I found:
"On average, the amount paid for a 5 gallon bucket of Black Walnuts with hulls is about 70 to 90 cents. A full size pickup truck bed full is about $70.00 to $90.00."

BW buying season usually runs from about 1 Oct to the middle of Nov.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hammons Black Walnuts


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Thanks for that info!


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

Seeds and Such, in Norman, IN (812.834.6354) will buy shagbarks, shellbarks, pignuts, and mockernuts, as well as black walnuts.


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

Good tip, Bur Oak
F.W.Schumacher & Sons, in Sandwich, MA also is typically interested in purchasing the same sort of seednuts for resale.

Here is a link that might be useful: F.W. Schumacher


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What Type of Hickories Are These?

Below are the pictures of the bark, leaves and nuts of the two huge hickory trees in my yard. Perhaps someone here at GW could I.D. these?

Hickory #1 is a big, tall tree with a wide canopy and produces many edible, tasty nuts. Nuts are somewhat elongated.

HICKORY #1 BARK
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HICKORY #1 LEAVES
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HICKORY #1 NUT
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Hickory #2 is a very tall tree without a wide canopy.

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HICKORY #2 BARK (MUCH DIFFERENT FROM TREE #1)
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HICKORY #2 LEAVES (T00 TALL TO REACH)
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HICKORY #2 NUTS
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Hickory #2 produces many nuts, too. These nuts are similar to #1, but much more round. I haven't tasted these yet.


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

Mockernut hickory, C.tomentosa.
Very tasty nutmeats, with a strong flavor rivaling black walnut, but the nutshells are so thick and the internal structure so convoluted, that it's virtually impossible to get anything other than tiny little kernel fragments - no intact halves or quarters.
Hardly worth the trouble to attempt cracking & picking for the nutmeats, but you could boil the nuts to make syrup, and the trees themselves are valuable for timber.


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

Thanks for the ID. Yes, it is time-consuming to extract the nutmeats, and they do come out in bits and pieces, looking somewhat like black walnuts.

Cracking them was easy, once I bought the special nutcracker for them. Before I got that, there was nothing I could do to crack those nuts! I even tried boiling and baking them.

Would you say they both are mockernut hickory? The bark is different, and the nuts on tree #2 are more like little fat basketballs, with tree #1 nuts being more elongated.


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

#1 is definitely mockernut.
#2 may be C.ovalis, red hickory - which some folks have suggested may be a hybrid between shagbark & mockernut; I'm not certain that genetic tests bear that out, though.

I've got one tree on the farm here that looks an awful lot like a shagbarkXmockernut hybrid, but may be C.ovalis - bark is intermediate between the two, leaves have 5 leaflets, nuts resemble nearby shagbarks, but nuts are brown, and shells are as thin as your run-of-the-mill shagbark, yielding intact quarters & larger pieces - something you'd almost never encounter in a pure mockernut.


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

My shagbark hickories are very tall trees but then, they are down by the creek where they get plenty of water.

Tree #2 is also very tall. I'll have to crack the nuts and see what they are like. I notice that the shells of all of them are sightly cracked, but that could be because they have been on the ground for quite some time. I had not paid any attention to this tree until now, as it is farther away from the house.


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

najoba, their are several hickory trees growing at a church down the road from me. I have always assumed they were all Mockernut, but it's the exact same situation you have. One tree has more rounded nuts, and the other two trees have more elongated nuts. All of the trees look to be the same age and I think they were intentionally planted. I'll have to remember to get a few pictures if the nuts aren't all gone by now.


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

  • Posted by cacau z5/6 CO (My Page) on
    Sun, Nov 11, 07 at 21:56

I was a little surprised Lucky initially IDed them as both Mockernut, given the bark differences, but I have much less experience separating these. The fruit differences sounded interesting. Vanderbilt Univ. has a photo posted that compares hickory nuts; perhaps it could help. The link is:

http://www.cas.vanderbilt.edu/bioimages/pages/carya-fruits.htm

I ran across a quite extensive website of information on all the Carya spp. including the Asian ones; see the link below. One thing it mentions on C. ovalis is that the husks are "warty." Also, it mentions a dozen or so interspecific hybrids; C. tomentosa is only referenced as hybridizing with C. texana, C. cordiformis, and C. illinoinensis.

If your mockernuts were from a more northerly location, I'd have loved getting a few to plant!

Cacau

Here is a link that might be useful: Germplasm Repository/Pecans & Hickories


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

Here's a picture I took of one of them last fall.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hickory picture


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

Your hickory tree is lovely in the fall. We don't often have a colorful autumn. It depends on the weather. Usually everything turns brown rather quickly, without much vivid color.


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

cacau - I rushed it and didn't look closely enough at the bark of the second tree; definitely not your typical mockernut.
I've seen some folks allude to putative hybrids of C.ovataXtomentosa, but my hickory 'mentor' doubts that they occur, due to C.tomentosa's chromosome count, and as such, he suspects that most of these putative hybrids are actually just C.ovalis.

My experience has been that really thick-shelled hickory nuts, like those in the photos, tend to crack as they dry out, while thin-shelled types tend not to.
The 'improved' shagbark & shellbark varieties in my collection, which have thin shells, tend to remain intact, cracking/splitting, at most, along suture lines, while the more typical 'unimproved' selections, with thicker shells, typically exhibit the sort of cracking displayed in the photos.


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

I've posted photos in the Gallery of nuts from good shagbark and shellbark selections which crack out a high percentage of intact halves/quarters. Take note of the open central cavity on the shagbark - minimal internal ridges, minimizing trapped nutmeat.

Here is a link that might be useful: hickory nut photos


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

I went and collected a few nuts from the two different trees and here's what they look like......
http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb183/escambiaguy/tree pics/twodifnuts.jpg

The tree with the rounded nuts had leaves with seven leaflets, but the tree with the elongated nuts had leaves with nine leaflets......
http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb183/escambiaguy/tree pics/difleaves.jpg

Here's the bark of the tree with the round nuts......
http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb183/escambiaguy/tree pics/roundbark.jpg

And the elongated nuts.......
http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb183/escambiaguy/tree pics/elonbark.jpg


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

I came across a hichory nut that i assumed was a cross of the mocker nut and shagbark. A nice round nut, thin shell but the nut meat was too bitter to eat
I believe the to photos of the trees are mocker nuts because the barks are not shaggy enough for either shag barks or shell barks. I've never heard of a red hickory.


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

james,
Your hickory was almost certainly bitternut hickory, C.cordiformis. It seems a cruel trick, that this hickory, whose nuts have the thinnest shell and highest kernel% of any hickory other than pecan, would have nutmeats as astringent as a green persimmon.

ath,
I'm inclined to think that both of your trees are mockernut, despite the difference in nut shape, but nutmeg hickory (C.myristicaeformis) is a possibility.


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

Next fall, I'm going to camp out under my shagbark hickories down by the creek, with a loaded double barrel shotgun and a couple of squirrel dogs. See if I let the critters run off with 'em again! (Just kidding.)


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

ath,
nutmeg hickory is rather rare... you can tell this tree from the others by its leaves- they have an attractive whitened underside.


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Nutmeg Hickory, red hickory, bitternut hickory. I didn't know there were such things. And yes I suppose the bitternut hickory is what I found. Thin shell, high nut to shell ratio but definetly inedible. Very disapointing for such a find.


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

Is there any use for the husks of hickory nuts?


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

What about the fallen leaves of the hickory? Should I add them to my compost pile or not? Are they still toxic to growing plants after drying up?


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

Toxic? I don't think they're toxic. I have lots of pecan trees (in hickory family) and have never found the leaves to be toxic to anything. Hickory leaves decompose quickly, which makes them excellent for composting.


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

Hickories(including pecan) are members of the walnut family, Juglandaceae, and as such, do produce some juglone, but as far as I'm aware, none produce sufficient amounts to be considered a potential threat to the ornamentals & vegetables that we worry about with regard to juglone toxicity from eastern black walnut.
Somewhere, sometime, I saw an article indicating that, of the hickories, shagbark - C.ovata, had the highest juglone production within its root zone. I'd have no real concerns with regard to using pecan or hickory leaves in my compost pile, or as mulch around trees/shrubs.
Scotjute - I've used clean mockernut nuts & husks to make 'hickory syrup', by boiling them. If folks can make it from strips of shagbark hickory bark, there's no reason some nice clean husks won't be just as good - and less lichen, poison ivy rootlets and assorted bug frass to deal with.


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

lucky p -- do you have a recipe of sorts, like how much of what you use to make the syrup? Husks, too? How much water to sugar? How many pounds of nuts/husks? How long do you boil it?

Thanks.


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

OK, here's what I do - I'll take a gallon or so of shagbark nutshell pieces, left over after I've cracked & picked out the nutmeats - or you could use a similar amount of mockernut nuts & husks - place 'em in a big, deep pot, add enough water to just cover them and bring to a boil.
Boil for 4-8 hrs, replenishing water as needed and occasionally stirring.
Strain through a clean washcloth or jelly strainer. You should now have a nice, brown 'liquor'. Add sugar - and this takes some playing around with amounts - I usually shoot for 2 cups sugar per cup of liquid, but sometimes after you get past 1 cup, it crystallizes out after it cools. Cook until the syrup reaches your desired consistency, stirring frequently. Pour into clean canning jars (I usually add 1 tsp salt per pint jar to help keep mold growth at bay) and seal. Refrigerate after opening - or use it in a short time frame, as it will 'go off'(ferment)


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Am I the only person who thinks the idea of boiled nutshell fragments sounds unappetizing? No offense im certain it tastes great, but it just doesnt sound very good, lol


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

Thanks for the details, lucky p. I'll sure try it. Sounds like a fun project.

LOL fledgeling, how about hog's head tamales? Does that sound good? (They are terrific, believe it or not!)


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

fledge,
It really is good - and personally, I was less 'put off' by boiling nice clean nutshell pieces, and even mockernut nut husks than I was by the thought of the more historically-correct hickory bark syrup - made by boiling strips of exfoliating bark pulled off of shagbark hickory trees, with all the lichens, poison ivy/Virginia creeper vines/rootlets, bugs & bug frass.


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

If you want some slightly more "interesting" food, try the highly rated (and very expensive) Chinese delicacy Ch'ung-tsao.

. . . mummified swift-moth caterpillars parasitised by the fungus Cordyceps sinensis, dug out of the ground.

Supposed to be really good!!


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything??

You can see them here:

Here is a link that might be useful: Chung-tsao


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

  • Posted by cacau z5/6 CO (My Page) on
    Mon, Nov 19, 07 at 23:00

At $524 per kg. I think I'll opt for truffles or beluga caviar.

Cacau


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

I suppose you could eat the sludge out of a crankcase too if you added two cups of sugsr per cup of liquid but probably like boiled nut husk it would have no nutritional value and probably be carcinogenic.


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

"At $524 per kg"

You'd be lucky! 2007 prices per kg US$3000 (lowest quality) to over US$15,000 (best quality = big larvae).

Resin

Here is a link that might be useful: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegetable_caterpillar


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

  • Posted by cacau z5/6 CO (My Page) on
    Wed, Nov 21, 07 at 1:42

Resin, one of the websites you referenced is selling packets of the "Chinese herbs" for that dish at $68.13/g so I just multiplied it up; I suppose the packets probably aren't pure caterpillar mummies.

Since we're getting off the subject of Carya IDs, maybe we should start another thread such as "Unusual Tree Comestibles." Example: Kentucky Coffee Tree seeds--has anyone ever tried brewing them up? Lucky must have, since he lives in Kentucky and already is known to boil hickory nut husks.

Several questions come to mind: is it dangerous to eat too many persimmons at one sitting (intestinal obstructions)? is it dangerous to eat too many ginkgo nuts at a sitting? is the fuzz inside honeylocust pods really edible?

Cacau


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"Kentucky Coffee Tree seeds--has anyone ever tried brewing them up?"
I've read somewhere that there are toxicity problems with this

"is it dangerous to eat too many persimmons at one sitting"
Should be OK, as long as they're properly ripe, not still astringent.

"is it dangerous to eat too many ginkgo nuts at a sitting?"
Have heard it is, yes.

"is the fuzz inside honeylocust pods really edible?"
As far as I know, yes.

Resin


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

Kentucky Coffee Tree seeds are indeed toxic most of the year. There's only a 2 week, or so, period where they aren't toxic and can be brewed. I've heard from others, who have made the brew that it isn't that good, even at it's best. It kind of makes you wonder how in the world did someone figure that out? Well, Teddy brewed some up 3 weeks ago and died, Jimmy did it 2 weeks ago and died, then John did it last week and died, I guess I'll brew some up this week! (I'm not sure how toxic they are, i.e. is it fatal, or will it just make you really sick)

I've read reports of people with intestinal blockage caused by eating the indigestible skin, but I think it must be extremely rare.

I'm not sure what the "fuzz" is on the inside of a Honeylocust Pod, but I've eaten the sweet flesh on the inside of a Honeylocust Pod and yes they are really edible. Although most have an odd after-taste(or even a little bitter), but some have no real after-taste and are kind of good IMO.

Hhmmm....so how to tie this back in to Hickories ha ha ...well most of them have tasty edible meat! I'm interested in the Hickory syrup too, it sounds like it's good.


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Nope. Never brewed up any KCT seeds - though my understanding is that roasting will denature the cytisine in them, rendering them non-toxic - but all reports suggest that the 'beverage' made by brewing ground roasted KCT seeds was vastly inferior to actual coffee. I've tasted the green 'goo' inside the pods, which surrounds the seeds, and found it not especially distasteful, but I'm not inclined to eat soap - and one of the things I always did when lecturing school kids about KCTs was to demonstrate how the early settlers(and perhaps the indigenous people) used that 'goo' as a form of hand soap.

There are reports in the human literature of persimmon bezoars, but I've never read them to see exactly what their nature was. I did do a postmortem exam(I'm a veterinary pathologist) on a horse within the last year or so, which had a persimmon bezoar - a firm mass composed mostly of partially masticated persimmon seeds & seed sacks, 9cmX5cmX5cm, which had obstructed the animal's small intestine. I have it prominently displayed on a shelf here in my office, along with other bezoars, hairballs, and enteroliths I've collected through the years.

I too, have sampled the honey-like material in the pods of honeylocust, but as kman indicates, it's not something you'd want to utilize as a dietary staple. Cattle and deer love them, and there have been folks, like Russell Smith, who advocated planting them as a source of livestock feed.


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We have wild orange trees growing in our woods...with great long spiky thorns and lovely white blossoms in the spring. When we first moved up here, I decided to make some lemonade with the wild oranges. It tasted pretty good, but it made me sick. So, my advice is to forget the wild oranges.


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Ah, yes. Trifoliate orange, Poncirus trifoliata.
While affectionados of English orange marmalade occasionally *claim* that you can make a tasty treat from those fruits, no one that I know has ever been able to get past the really nasty oil in the rind, which permeates everything.
I once saw a tongue-in-cheek recipe for trifoliate lemonade - used the juice of one fruit, 55 gallons of water and 50 lbs of sugar.


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  • Posted by cacau z5/6 CO (My Page) on
    Thu, Nov 22, 07 at 20:34

The closest I came to eating honeylocust pod innards was in north coastal Peru where people eat the "fuzz" inside the pods of the tree Inga feuillei, family Fabaceae like the others. There they call it pacay; it's nothing special, pretty bland. There is a similar tree in those regions, Inga edulis, that produces pods they call "ice cream beans," but I've never tried them.

BTW Resin, those higher prices you quote for Chung-tsao are for the UNWRAPPED caterpillar mummies; very labor-intensive.

Cacau


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Does anyone have experience with Hicans? I just ordered one from an East Texas nursery. I read that this is a natural cross of Pecans and Hickories. The nut is said to taste Hickory but shell like a Pecan.
One unusual happening is Tremites in one of my Pecans, just yesterday I had it treated to kill them out. Native Termites are said not to damage trees but Formosan Termites kill the tree.
Joe T.


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I've read that hicans are as bitter as bitternut. Wish I had better news for you on that.


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

Do hicans give you hicups?

;-)


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

Joe T.
I've got several grafted hicans in my collection - some ShagbarkXPecan(Burton, Palmer) and some ShellbarkXPecan(Bixby, Vernon, McAllister, Jim Wilson, James, Caha) - and one seedling of the Abbott bitcan(bitternutXpecan).
Also have one new pecan variety that is a seedling of the Major pecan, suspected to have been pollenated by the Burton hican - so it'd be 3/4 pecan 1/4 shagbark hickory - nuts look like pecan(larger and more elongate than the Major parent), but some bud/bark features are strongly suggestive of hickory introgression.

None of my hicans have borne nuts yet - oldest one has been in the ground here for about 10 years; they all have the reputation of being 'shy bearers' The trees are very vigorous, growing much more rapidly than pecans or hickories.
I've seen hican nuts on occasion at nutgrowers meetings, but I've usually pocketed a few and tried to germinate & grow them, rather than cracking & eating them.


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I planted a few of the hicans that Stark Bros. sold along with their james pecans. That was propably at least 16 years ago. still small trees. The largest pecan has blossomed but never produced. What I suspect is the problem is that they cut the tap root off and the trees flounder on side roots. they are planted in a nice bottom ground.


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

That pecan needs another pecan nearby to pollinate it.


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

q.mac is right. You need at least one other pecan - preferrably two or more, with compatible pollen-shed/nutlet flower receptivity patterns to get nut set and maturation.

Cutting the taproot is no big deal - there's nothing magical about a taproot - it's just an energy reserve storage vessel, so the more taproot you can preserve when digging a pecan(oak/walnut/persimmon,etc.), the better, but if you cut it off a foot below ground level, it's not a death sentence. With appropriate planting, mulching, and adequate supplemental watering the first year or two, any taprooted seedling(or seedling with grafted top) will do just fine, and long-term performance would not be significantly different from a seedling of the same age which had never had its taproot severed.


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

I bought 2 Shagbarks and 2 S. Pecans from Oikos. Due to the trees being a little smaller they gave me an extra pecan, 2 extra Shagbarks and 1 Lecont Hican. Sure will take time to establish...but I am looking forward to it :)


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

jqp,
That Lecont hican will be a crapshoot, with regard to edibility, as it's a hybrid of pecan & bitter pecan/water hickory(C.aquatica).


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

I have a few wild seedling pecan trees that produced a few nuts this year even though their trunks are only 5-6 inches diameter. With ample moisture and sunlight, they can actually grow fairly quickly. Watch out for June beetles in the summer, they can strip a seedling overnight.


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

Lucky_p, thanks for the advice. I don't really mind b/c the tree is free, but I don't want it to go to waste. So, I planted it off to the corner in a more natural area away from the pecans. We'll see?


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

Excellent. Never waste a tree, unless it's a foreign invasive. Or a catalpa.


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

You might luck up, and the nuts may be exquisite - but the opposite is also a possibility. I've eaten a couple of 'Abbott' bitcan(bitternutXpecan) nuts, and they were OK, but some seedlings with C.cordiformis or C.aquatica in the mix may have bitter, astringent nutmeats, like those parents, rather than the sweet, tasty kernel of the pecan parent.
At any rate, it should make a handsome, fast-growing tree.


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

The nuts from my hickory trees match the pictures on ebay as hickory nuts, the light brown not totally round nuts from the pictures from tree #1 in this thread. I would like to know how much yield of nut meats might come from a pound of nuts in their shells. A friend told me to boil the shells, with bad ones floating to the top to toss. Lay them out to dry for at least a couple of weeks or longer to pick over the winter. She thinks about 1/4 cup per pound. Does this sound about right?


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

Its about that time of year to be in hickory love again. So far 1 of my seedling hickories died. The Lecont Hican grew well and then at some point this summer...something or someone stepped on it. It snapped at the base. I think it'll be fine and grow back from the ground. (Crosses Fingers). I've been walking around trying to find good nuts. I really like Shagbarks, but they are rare around these parts. I'll have to made due with "Carolina Shagbarks". We have a few around the neighborhood. How should I store these. Should I peel off the green hulls? Should I leave them in a dry spot inside til they brown up and then pull out the nut and plant? Thanks for any help!


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

Yes indeed, 'float' test those nuts - but not in boiling water. Just put the husked nuts in a bucket of water - good, well-filled nuts will sink; poorly-filled 'blanks' will float.

You'll need to remove the husks - if the nuts are mature, it should be relatively easy to pry/pop them off, but if they were blown or cut from the tree before they were really ripe - like those that blew off here, two weeks ago, when the remnants of Hurricane Ike blew through with 65mph winds - they'll be tougher to get off. Ordinarily, you could just spread them out in a cool, dry spot to dry for a few days, and they'l become easier to remove, but it doesn't look like that's gonna be the case for those blown out early.

A REALLY GOOD shagbark or shellbark hickory will have ~ 45% kernel, but most run-of-the-mill trees' nuts will yield less.


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

Hmmm...thanks for the suggestion. So found I found 4 de-husked nuts from what looks to be a carolina shagbark. 3 floated and 1 sunk. I still planted them all (maybe i'll get lucky). Have more waiting for me on the desk. They are drying, but not really splitting apart. We'll see?!


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

I have some kind of hickory tree but we just havent been able to figure it out. I have pictures and will try and load them.


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RE: Hickory Nuts - Worth Anything?

I have some kind of hickory tree but we just havent been able to figure it out. I have pictures and will try and load them.


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