A North American native, Pignut Hickory is usually seen at 50 to 65 feet in height with a 30- to 40-foot spread but is capable of slowly reaching 120 feet in the forest. The deciduous, 6- to 12-inchlong leaves create a coarse, oval canopy, and the strong but irregularly spaced branches resist breakage in storms, making it useful as a shade tree. The green fruits are quite bitter and are popular with various forms of wildlife, but not man. Since fruits may damage cars as they fall and people could roll on the fruit and lose their balance, it may be best to locate the tree away from streets, parking lots, and other areas where cars regularly park. It makes a nice shade tree or median strip tree planted on 25- to 30-foot centers and turns a striking bright yellow in the fall.
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Tree Campus information provided with permission of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension, Publication #ENH280, one of a series. Original publication date November 1993. Revised December 2006. Reviewed February 2014. For more information visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.