Common Name: Bitternut Hickory
Scientific Name: Carya cordiformis
Leaf: Deciduous, alternate, compound with 5 to 11 leaflets; toothed; somewhat hairy beneath.
Flower: Tiny; male in hanging clusters 7-10cm long; female erect.
Fruit: Nuts cylindrical, smooth, and bitter; husks thin, ridged toward outer end and splitting to the middle.
Twig: Buds bright yellow-powdery, with scales in pairs, not overlapping; end bud often more than 1.3cm long and with 2 exposed scales; twigs slender, mostly hairless.
Bark: Bark gray with shallow furrows and interlacing ridges.
Wood: Very hard, heavy and strong; straight-grained; impact-resistant; heartwood pale brown to reddish brown.
Facts About this Tree:
1. Bitternut hickory is Canada’s most widespread hickory and our only native pecan hickory.
2. The wood is used for smoking ham and bacon, giving a unique hickory-smoke flavour.
3. Like the name suggests, the nuts are very bitter and inedible.
4. The strong, shock-absorbing wood is a favourite for tool handles, wooden wheels, and sporting goods.
Diameter (DBH): 50.3 cm
Last Year Modified: 2015
Carbon Stored in this Tree: 686.065 kg of C
Equivalent CO2: 2515.321 kg of C
1. Blouin, Glen. 2001. An Eclectic Guide to Trees East of the Rockies. Erin, ON. Boston Mills Press
2. Petrides George A. 1998. A Field Guide to Eastern Trees: Eastern United States and Canada, Second Edition. NY. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
3. Ministry of Natural Resources. 2013. The Tree Atlas. Retrieved from http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/ClimateChange/2ColumnSubPage/STDPROD_101493.html
4. Photo Credit: ‘Bitternut Hickory trunk & bark’ by Dendroica cerulea, via Flickr – https://flic.kr/p/dDm4gJ; Flower by Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne – http://sites.ipfw.edu/native-trees/BitternutHickoryIconGallery.htm; ‘Bitternut Hickory Leaf’ by George P. Chamuris, Hiker’s Guide to the Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of Ricketts Glen State Park – Third Edition (Web Version) – http://departments.bloomu.edu/biology/ricketts/Carya/C_cord/C_cord.html; ‘bitternut Hickory (Carya Cordiformis)’ by Jeff D. Hansen – http://www.kansasnativeplants.com/guide/plant_detail.php?plnt_id=249; Yie Wu Wu
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The Humber River is the only Canadian Heritage River in Ontario accessible by subway. Many of the Conservation Areas operated by Toronto and Region Conservation provide access to the Humber River for canoeing and water sports, as well as hiking and nature appreciation.