Hickory Seeds - Bitternut
**Orders containing large seeds are only eligible for parcel shipping rates.**
(Carya cordiformis) Deciduous. Zones 4-9.
Bitternut Hickory is a majestic giant that can live up to 200 years! Plant it now and future generations will enjoy sitting in its shade and foraging for nuts.
As the Bitternut Hickory matures, its smooth gray and green bark becomes beautifully textured in a loose diamond pattern - a striking presence year-round. The greenish yellow Spring flowers of the Bitternut give way to oval-rounded nuts, encased in a thick green husk that splits when ripe. Bitternuts are not edible - they are much too bitter for humans and most wildlife.
Cross-pollination generally produces a more abundant crop of better quality nuts so it's best to plant two trees. It can take 8-10 years for trees to begin producing.
Hickory wood is widely used to cure and smoke meats. It is extremely strong and makes heirloom quality tool handles, ladders, and furniture.
** Please note that all members of the Juglans family (Butternuts, walnuts, heartnuts, etc.) create a protective substance in their roots called Juglone. This can kill certain other plant species within the root zone. Juglone from Hickories and Pecans is very mild.
Cold Hardiness: Zones 4 - 9
Size: Large Tree 50-80 feet
Growth Rate: Medium
Nitrogen Fixer: No
Native Plant: Yes
Germination: 70 - 90%
Sun Requirements: Full Sun for maximum harvest, but shade tolerant.
Soil Preference: Rich, moist, well draining. Tolerant of clay and sand.
- Soak seeds for 4 days, replacing water every 24 hrs. Follow with 90 days of cold, moist stratification. For more information on stratification, check out our article "How To Stratify Tree Seeds".
*If you are doing the cold period in your fridge, please check on your seeds. 90 days is an estimate & they may sprout sooner.*
- Plant stratified seeds in deep pots or a nursery bed using standard potting soil. Heat mats are NOT required & can hinder germination!
* Hickories send down a MASSIVE taproot so don't let them get too big in a nursery bed. Taproots can damage easily and a broken taproot can weaken or kill a young tree. *
- Protect young tree seedlings from slugs, cutworms & rodents. Slugs especially can eat primary leaves as soon as they come up, so be vigilant!