any one ever hear of a pig nut tree?

missa(z5MA)November 9, 2003

When i mention to fellow workers and people i may meet here and there , sometimes in conversation we talk about picking walnuts and other edible nuts but when i mention that i pick pig nuts i get this confused look by many people, i guess they are not familiar with this term of word. Some say that the nut im picking is a black walnut but i disagree. however im not completely positive. I live in the N.E, in Massachussetts. The nut i pick or collect ...because it drops after a good frost had usually 5 sections i think... for a husk and its a bright green in color.When its ripe they can usually be pealed open. Many a time when they hit the ground, the nut falls out. The nut or shell is light tan in measutes 3/4 of an inch wide from top to tip and about 1/4 of an inch wide. The shell is hard, oval in shape, a little flat and has a point at one end. The flesh inside is sweet like a pecan! And resembles the same shape and texture of a pecan or walnut.

All i know about this nut is that generations in my family pick these nuts and they were always known to us as pig nuts. I can remember as a young girl my grandfather and my father taking me in the fall to pick these. It was one of those family traditions......


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Pig - nut hickory I think. However, if the nut is not bitter, it may be shag bark hickory

    Bookmark   November 9, 2003 at 7:57PM
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Dagget(5/6 Central OH)

The bitternut hickory is often called the pignut, but it is a small and bitter nut -- the squirels just let them lay in my yard. This tree is actually the tallest tree found in a lot of the midwest areas.
I bet you are referring to the shellbark hickory, which is a shag bark hickory, but larger in size nut. These tend to go fast when they ripen, both animals and people being eager to get so much sweet meat with so little work.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2003 at 11:21PM
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lycopus(z5 NY)

There is a sweet pignut hickory, Carya ovalis or Carya glabra var. odorata, also called red hickory. It may be a hybrid between C. glabra (pignut) and C. ovata (shagbark). Pignut can also hybridize with bitternut. Bitternut, butternut, or yellowbud hickory are names usually given to Carya cordiformis. Pecan can be considered a hickory since it's in the same genus. It doesn't seem to bear fruit in this zone even though it can be grown here.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2003 at 1:06AM
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beng(z6 western MD)

Is the husk very thin (1/16")? That's Pignut or Bitternut, but almost never taste good. Thicker husks (1/8 - 1/4") would be Mockernut, Shagbark, Shellbark, or some hybrid.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2003 at 6:32AM
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Euell Gibbons ued to day that if you boil or soak pignut hickories in frequent changes of boiling water, it would leach out the tannin. We tried it once, and added ten changes of water before we gave up. They were still bitted.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2003 at 12:00PM
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Hickery nuts very good.Every year my family and i go up in the woods to a a clearing that has hundreds of them. Ive always loved them, even as a little kid. :)

    Bookmark   December 19, 2003 at 1:05PM
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PamelaZ(z5 NW PA)

I have both pig nut hickory and shagbark hickory in my yard. I've noticed that the pig nut is generally smaller in size than the shagbark. I've never tried eating either although my uncle loves the shagbark nuts. The trees are almost indistinguishable except for the shagbark shedding all over my lawn. I also have butternut and black walnut trees. A lot of people would tell me I'm lucky but then I would invite them to come over in October and walk through my yard without twisting an ankle. Ha Ha.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2003 at 9:32PM
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Dagget(5/6 Central OH)

The squirrels don't eat them, that's how bitter they are. That's a good clue for us, I think,

    Bookmark   December 24, 2003 at 2:56PM
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I too grew up in Massachusetts. We always picked the pignut trees in the yard.
I love pignuts they are very good after they have a had a chance to dry under the bed in a box. It seems we always had lots of nuts to eat around Christmas My dad alwayspicked them and he has been gone for 10 year. = ( I wanted to plant trees in my own yard in Vermont but I have not looked into this yet. Those of you who say this nut is bitter, did you really try the nut? As a kid I would eat the green nut, just because. It was gooey and not really appealing but I will still have to crack one open with a rock and peal the not ripe meat out just for old times sake. Pig Nuts Rock! So does the memory
Loving the pignuts and looking to go and pick some in the following weeks.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2004 at 9:45AM
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