Carya laciniosa - Shellbark / Big leafed Shagbark / Kingnut


I’m about to plant a quarter of an acre with shellbark hickories. They will be planted next to a quarter of an acre of black walnuts in a slanting, quite humid slope.

Zone 6a, 175 frost free days, ample precipitation and lots of light in the summer.

Any does and dont’s ? How many trees? with what kind of spacing? patterns?

I’m thinking of protecting them with 6’ long 15’’ wide PVC or similar plastic tubing staked around the sapling, to protect from the deer we have here. any tips on this? Materials? How to stake the tubing? Holes etc?

Any tips will be greatly appreciated?

Best Regards


Are you growing them for firewood or a specialty crop?

Carya laciniosa from GRIN:

Economic Importance -

  • Fuels: charcoal (fide AH 519)
  • Fuels: fuelwood (fide AH 519)
  • Gene sources: primary genetic relative of pecan (based on crossability with Carya illinoinensis fide Acta Hort 859:240. 2010; Crop Germp Comm 2004)
  • Materials: wood (fide J Arn Arb 53:41. 1972; AH 519)

My friend who owns the land, owns quite a bit of forest, but this is closer to his farm and grown as a specialty crop / timber crop.

I think sprouting nuts is fun, and I think he sees the timber value for the next generations. Walnuts for gun stocks and hickory for tools.

We both think that big nuts are exotic . We get the odd year with temperatures down to -20°F, so I think that Pecans are out of the question, but I think shellbark will survive…

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