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Carya ovata
Shagbark hickory

Shagbark hickory (Carya ovata) is a large, slow-growing deciduous tree named after its characteristic loose bark which falls off in flakes. It is native to the eastern United States but has been introduced in Europe, though mostly as an ornamental.

The tree’s wood is extremely hard and heavy, yet flexible and shock-resistant, making it useful for tools and sports equipment. It is also used for smoking meat and as a source of firewood. The shagbark hickory is occasionally cultivated for its edible nuts, which are also eaten by rodents.

The tree prefers rich, moist and well-drained soils and requires adequate light and a large space to grow. It is naturally found in scattered woodlands and only maintains its foliage for a relatively short period during the summer, allowing a rich understorey to develop beneath its canopy.

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