Trees of Wisconsin

Carya cordiformis (Wangenh.) K.Koch
yellow-bud hickory
Family: Juglandaceae
tree leaf   bud leaf scar bark

Carya cordiformis is one of the easiest tree species to identify. The yellow bud alone makes it difficult to mistake for another species and combined with the alternate compound leaves and relatively large nuts (if present) it is very distinctive. The nuts are reported to be bitter, as one of the common names suggests. The husks have obvious ridges or even short wings and they are very thin compared to Carya ovata. The lighter-colored shallow cracks in the young bark are roughly similar to those of young Carya ovata, but the mature bark of Carya cordiformis does not split so deeply. Each leaf usually has 7-9 leaflets (but a few may have only 5).

Carya cordiformis grows most often in deciduous forests, but it is seldom if ever a dominant species. It does best in southern Wisconsin and is apparently absent from the extreme northern counties.

known Wisconsin distribution


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