Bitternut Hickory
Leaf Characteristics
  • broad, flat
  • compound
  • pinnately compound
  • margins toothed
  • 3 end leaflets usually distinctly larger than basal leaflets
  • 7 to 11 leaflets
  • underside may be somewhat downy
Bitternut Hickory
Fruit Characteristics
  • other fruit (not cone, winged, acorn, or in pod or capsule)
  • nut in a husk
  • thinner husk
  • husk 0.18" or thinner
  • husk splits only halfway
  • husk winged
Bitternut Hickory
Carya cordiformis

The bark is smoother than bark on either the Shagbark or Shellbark Hickories. Still, it is fissured and marked with interlacing ridges. The tree grows on moist or wet soils in bottomlands and uplands. Sometimes it can be found on drier slopes of hills. Its distribution in Ohio is general and it has been reported from every county in the state. The wood is somewhat lighter and weaker than in other hickories. It is used for crates and boxes, and for fuel and for smoking meats. Three hickories other than the three described here have much more limited distribution in Ohio.

Tree Size height 40' - 75' diameter 1' - 3' Bark