I’m trying to identify the hickory trees on my place near Yadkinville, NC, partly because I’d just like to be able to identify the trees on my property but also because I grafted a Grainger shagbark hickory this past spring, and I was hoping that I had shagbark hickory trees in my woods that would provide the cross-pollination. I feel confident that I’ve identified several mockernut and pignut trees, but there are several other trees (at least 4 and in different areas) which appear to be the same species but are different in several respects from the mockernuts and pignuts. Based on the key I’m using to identify these trees I’d say they were shagbark or maybe southern shagbark, because they have somewhat shaggy bark and the leaves I’ve found on the ground underneath them all seem to have 5 leaflets, but shagbark and southern shagbark nuts are apparently supposed to have thick husks without ridges along the sutures, and the nuts I’m finding all have very thin husks with ridges along the sutures. But the only trees in the identification key I’ve mainly been relying on that are supposed to have ridges along the sutures are supposed to have buds that to me look quite different from the buds on these trees – I think they’re called imbricate, and the buds on these trees look more like pignut buds, which I believe are termed valvate – and are supposed to have at least 7 leaflets per leaf.
Here are some photos. The bark and twigs/buds are from the same tree. The nut might have been from a different tree (that appears to me to be the same species), but the nuts under the tree in the bark and twig/bud photographs looked identical to me.