Shagbark Hickory - A Very Useful Tree

Posted by F&S

We, Frenchies, were so happy to finally have a day where it wasn’t all cloudy and rainy and we were greatly relieved to be outdoors looking for adventure.  However, with all the rain, it seems that Sharkey has been putting her time to good use by reading up on hickory trees.

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Sharkey, the rain has finally let up and it's a beautiful day on the farm for a change!  Let's play in this grove of trees!

1 Sharkey, the rain has finally let up and it's a beautiful day on the farm for a change! Let's play in this grove of trees!

Franny, did you know that this tree is Carya ovata, or more commonly called the shagbark hickory?  Shagbarks can live for about 200 to 300 years....and that's a long time!

2 Franny, did you know that this tree is Carya ovata, or more commonly called the shagbark hickory? Shagbarks can live for about 200 to 300 years....and that's a long time!

The shagbark is the most common type of hickory tree in eastern United States and also one of the fastest growing—they can grow more than 100-feet tall!  The wood makes great ax handles and baseball bats.

3 The shagbark is the most common type of hickory tree in eastern United States and also one of the fastest growing—they can grow more than 100-feet tall! The wood makes great ax handles and baseball bats.

It's obvious why it's called shagbark—just look at these large, shaggy pieces of bark hanging from the trunk, Franny!

4 It's obvious why it's called shagbark—just look at these large, shaggy pieces of bark hanging from the trunk, Franny!

And look at all of these nuts on the ground, Sharkey!  It looks like a bumper crop this year, providing lots of winter sustenance for our woodland friends!

5 And look at all of these nuts on the ground, Sharkey! It looks like a bumper crop this year, providing lots of winter sustenance for our woodland friends!

Hickory nuts begin to drop from their branches in late summer.  And all of that wind and rain we've had lately has encouraged the nuts to drop in torrents!

6 Hickory nuts begin to drop from their branches in late summer. And all of that wind and rain we've had lately has encouraged the nuts to drop in torrents!

Franny, these nuts are not only a food source for animals, but for people, as well!  The shagbark variety of hickory nuts are sought for their sweet flavor, but aren't practical for commercial use because of their small size.

7 Franny, these nuts are not only a food source for animals, but for people, as well! The shagbark variety of hickory nuts are sought for their sweet flavor, but aren't practical for commercial use because of their small size.

You can't really find these nuts in stores the way you can pecans or walnuts, because of the difficulties in shelling them in large quantities.  It takes about 100 nuts to make a pound of nut meats.

8 You can't really find these nuts in stores the way you can pecans or walnuts, because of the difficulties in shelling them in large quantities. It takes about 100 nuts to make a pound of nut meats.

Franny, what do you suppose is making this nice little pile of nuts?  They've all been removed from their thick outer husks and left here just so!

9 Franny, what do you suppose is making this nice little pile of nuts? They've all been removed from their thick outer husks and left here just so!

Why, Sharkey!  I'm getting a strong whiff of squirrel!!!  This must be where they're piling them before taking the nuts to their winter cache.

10 Why, Sharkey! I'm getting a strong whiff of squirrel!!! This must be where they're piling them before taking the nuts to their winter cache.

Francesca, this is brilliant!  Let's just back off a bit and wait for that cute little squirrel to return.  Hickory nuts are also useful for squirrel chasers!!!

11 Francesca, this is brilliant! Let's just back off a bit and wait for that cute little squirrel to return. Hickory nuts are also useful for squirrel chasers!!!

Comments (10)

  • Good Morning F & S

    What a great idea, pile up the nuts to attract the squirrels then ATTACK!!! I don't have any hickory nuts but we have lots of acorns. Maybe I'll go grab a bag of walnuts from the pantry and I'll go set my trap ;)

    I have to wish my best buddy Basil a HAPPY 10TH BIRTHDAY. I'm sending big kisses your way Basil :)

    I had a great weekend. Mom did play golf on Saturday but she came home right afterwards and we decorated our house for Halloween. Then yesterday Nicole came over and played with me all day. Mom took her pumpkin picking in the morning and they came home with all kinds of good stuff. Then they went to Mom's friend at her farm so Nicole could see the baby goats. I was not invited I would have loved to chase a few goats and pigs around the farm.

    Well let me go raid the pantry and get ready for my squirrels ;)

    Zoe

  • Hello Ladies,
    Hickory nuts as bate for squirrels, that is great!!! Our resident coyote must have relocated as I have lots of squirrels in my yard these days. They have eaten the garden to bits this year. You girls were lucky to have had rain. Not us!!! It has been record breaking heat---85 degrees for fall--yucko!!! Dad and my people brother went and got 4 cords of wood for the winter. What a job and a half. They have sore backs today. I am dreaming of the first fire and Mom says she is dreaming of a fire and cocoa and some peppermint liquor stuff in it. Better get off to my birthday nap!! Have a great day all. Zoe, thanks for the birthday kisses--I am warm all over.
    Love & licks,
    Basil

  • Good mornig everyone,
    That sure is a strange looking tree. Mom said I havwe a two minute limit on the computer today and I am lucky to get that much. I am grounded and my punishment is no computer. But, mom said I can use it today to wish Basil a HAPPY BIRTHDAY. I hope you have a fantastic day Basil.
    I tried to pull a Zoe manuever. I am usually a very good chow but I saw something that to me looked like a big Barbie Doll so I grabbed it off the stand and chewed on the hair and slobbered that all up and then I chewed the arm off. That was really fun. But then my mom saw me and started yelling. The fun ended. It was not a Barbie Doll, it was a porcelain doll that my mom made many years ago. Bad words started coming out of her mouth. Then I knew I was in big doo doo. She will get over it cause I am irresistable. hehehehehe
    Uh Oh, here she comes. Gotta get off the computer.
    Later,
    Maddox

  • Hi ladies,
    Like Zoe, we don't have a hickory tree, but our neighbors have an Oak tree with lots of acorns. I was checking out the nuts yesterday & yes, there was the scent of squirrel all around.
    Happy Birthday to you, Basil! 10 years, congratulations!
    We had a cousin visiting us this weekend. She is so nice that I decided that I wanted to sit on the sofa with her last night. She says she thinks I'm cute, but she did not pet me...hmmmm I don't think she is a dog person.
    Lots of sunshine heading eastward..enjoy it. There was frost on the roofs this morning..brrrrr
    Your pal,
    Rebel

  • Oh my goodness, I never knew that these Hickory trees were called Shagbark! Our backyard is full of them with many huge Oak trees as well...I have to say that the Hickory are a pain in the butt with all the nuts...the deer, chippies, squirrels and birds eat them.... but there are so many that they make a blanket in the back and the front of our house, and boy to they hurt to walk on...a couple of years ago I actually broke my first bone the right wrist (the hand I use to draw with)just stepping on a small nut then falling on the cement street...

    F & S you look cute in these photos, as usual.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY BASIL!!!! :)

  • Hi Girl Friends &G.K., This sure is a lovely photo of your fun time going through the forest on such a beautiful, dry day at Martha's Bedford farm! You both look so beautiful and happy to be out there! Those hickory nuts are fascinating-sure would love to see some. We have an oak tree, a black walnut tree, and a hazelnut tree in our yard. The squirrels and our noisy bluejays remove almost all of the nuts from the trees before they are matured and we have leaves and nut shells all over the yard, but no nuts. The only thing our squirrels and crows eat are peanuts and those shell are all over the place, too. They get the peanuts from people in the neighborhood. We took a nice long walk yesterday and halfway throught the rain started and we got completely soaked by the time we got back home. I was so wet that Mom had to dry me off with a big towel and I enjoyed that part of it. Hey Basil, sure hope your birthday goes well today-HAPPY 10th! Maddox, you sure had fun with that doll-I've done that before and Mom gets very angry, also! Loved reading all of your comments and hope everyone has a great day!! Love, Dudley Do Right XOXOXO+ PS-Please say Hi to G.K.-miss him like crazy!

  • "A hunting we will go, a hunting we will go, hi ho the merrio, a hunting we will go" It's squirrel season! Oh wait a minute, it's always squirrel season for the two of you. Does the ever so elusive GK go on squirrel hunts with you two?

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY BASIL!!!!! Belly rubs to you big boy! :smile:

    Good to see you feeling better Delia. :smile: Maddox you wild boy! Well you and Zoe can start the Time Out Club. :wink:

  • Hello ladies, Kirby here.
    Thanks for the tip on the hickory nuts. I’ve been using pine cones to ‘bait’ the squirrels but that doesn’t work very well. They like to get the cones before they drop off of the trees. I guess that they are softer then and not as hard to chew open. I don’t use peanuts because so many of my neighbors use poison peanuts to kill the squirrels; don’t want to encourage them to eat peanuts. Yep, that’s what I said, some of my neighbors poison the squirrels. They should be ashamed of themselves. That makes my Mommy sad at times. I just wish I could get to them for making my Mommy sad.
    Catch you later, Kirby.

    PS: Happy Birthday Basil.

  • ..hapy birthday Basil!...Maddox it was just a little accident tell your mom to chill out and be happy she doesn't own cattle-dogs, she wouldn't have a piece of doll left!..poison..squirrels..that is dreadful..the red bellies are a pain..but we still love the little guys...No hickory trees here..they do sound interesting..thanks for the info, frenchies...James is doing plumbing today, maybe I can help..I like walking back and forth in the middle of things..My indoor cat pal, Kit-Bang is hogging the couch better go give her a snout-push...later friends, cora-belle ...ps., Basil, I will give extra barks to every thing I see here at the farm/ranch today for you!

  • OMG my new favorite word: shagbark hickory.

    I think I had that hairstyle back in the 1970's! :)

    Those squirrels are fast, better be on high alert.

    love you both! Oh and the donks too!

    gail

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