The Shagbark Hickory (Carya ovata) is a large-sized ornamental shade tree. It has a narrower, oval shaped crown with a central leader reaching high up into its branching canopy. This tree gets its name from the peeling bark which comes off in large, curving pieces, giving it a distinctive shaggy appearance. Its foliage is arranged compoundly, with 5-7 leaflets that turn a yellow-bronze in the fall.
The Shagbark Hickory is native to eastern and midwestern North America. They are related to the pecan tree and produce edible nuts (not as sweet as pecans). The wood from this tree is used to make baseball bats and tool handles and also gives off a fragrance when burned that makes it popular for the meat-curing.
This tree is a great choice as a shade tree in a park or big yard. They may require some care (regular watering) until they are established in your landscape but once they are you can sit back and watch them grow. They do well in full to partial sun and do not have a specific preference for soil conditions besides moist soil in the first year.