Can anyone ID this nut - hickory, but not shagbark?

2ajsmamaMay 13, 2014

Looking for hickory trees on our property, know of a few that give a lot of nuts every couple of years, and shagbark is pretty easy to ID. But found some deciduous trees (too tall to really see leaves, plus they're just starting to leaf out), shells/nuts around the base(s), but bark is not peeling, though it is very rough and grooved vertically. What could these be? Couldn't find good hulls, only pieces and they do seem thinner than the SB hickories, nuts also are rounder, not flattened, and at least now that they've been out all winter (only finding ones with holes chewed in) they can be cracked with nutcrackers, don't need to use hammer.

SB nut on left (I'm holding it so you can see it's flattened), unknown on right. TIA

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I can't tell for sure from the photo and without the hull, but I'd wager it is pignut. Did you try to eat one? If it's pretty bitter, then it's pignut.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 2:10PM
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I don't think there are any nut meats left inside any of them - not that one, just some rotted black stuff when I cracked it, had a hole where something had chewed through it. But I'll Google pignut and see if I can find photo of bark to compare, and look carefully this fall to see if I can find nuts.

Thing is, one of the trees that has this bark had a lot of hulls that really looked like hickory under it, there is a small SB nearby but not as many hulls under there. DH collected a bunch and took the hulls off while still green (though I told him he should wait), cracked the nuts with hammer. I *think* all of them were thick-hulled, hard to crack flat nuts - the ones I tasted (of the little pieces left after smashing them) tasted like hickory/pecan not bitter. I hope he didn't get pignuts mixed in.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 2:19PM
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OK, just found some images and the bark looks like these trees, we definitely have some of those around since I recognize the pointy-ended nuts and hulls, but these nuts are round, not pointed even though the tree bark (and from what I can tell, maybe the leaves) look similar.

But according to Columbia U, the pignut is a type of hickory so I guess it's still possible this round nut is another type of hickory? I'll keep looking.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 2:24PM
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Here's a great aid to identifying hickories and walnuts.

Here is a link that might be useful: identifying hickories and walnuts

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 7:25PM
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Thanks - I'm not sure we have the same trees as in TN, my great uncle told me there were butternuts here but I haven't found any, or any walnuts either. I'll have to wait until fall to see if I find any with husks so I can see how thick they are, but from the description of the bark(diamond-shaped ridges) they might be mockernuts (which are still edible).

The trees are so tall (40+ ft) and growing surrounded by maples, hemlocks, and some oaks that about all I can tell from looking up at the branches is that the leaves are pinnate, maybe later in the season I might be able to tell how many leaflets but just can't see right now considering lowest branches are higher than my roof!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 8:08PM
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I'm going to guess that is a heartnut walnut tree. I cant see the nut completely.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 9:54PM
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I thought walnuts all had very convoluted shells?

Besides mockernut, I guess this could be red hickory.

We had 1 tree break in hurricane, from the leaves and green fruit I thought it was a black walnut but my cousin the woodworker said if it wasn't dark inside then it wasn't walnut (I offered him the wood if he took down the tree, widowmaker hanging). The trunk is still there, we never took it down, but I think the tree is dead. It's not anywhere near these hickories (or my garden, thank goodness).

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 6:59AM
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