Pignut Hickory

Scientific Name: Carya glabra

Pignut Hickory (Carya glabra)

  • Part of the Walnut family, including pecans, this hickory is a common southern Appalachian tree reaching 60-80 feet at maturity
  • Leaves are compound like Ash trees, usually with 5 leaflets, 3-6 inches long and saw-toothed on the edges
  • Bark is smooth and tight while young changing to a hard, diamond shaped pattern as it matures
  • The fruit is a slightly sweet nut enclosed in a pear-shaped, thin husk that is easily opened by animals
  • Used to make tool handles, skis, drum sticks, and flooring; it remains the “king” of wood for smoking meat

Fun Fact: Because hickory wood can withstand continuous shocks, it is the choice for axe, pick and sledge hammer handles while ash is preferred for shovels and rakes.


Big Tree Tour on Terry Trail TREE #44 = 28 inch diameter

Continue the Tree Tour!

This tour was created in partnership with:
Land Trust of North Alabama
Society of American Foresters – Mountain Lakes Chapter
U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station
Alabama A&M Forestry & Ecology Center