• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Carya ovata (F)

shagbark hickory

  • Other common names shagbark hickory
    shell-bark hickory

    little shell-bark hickory
    shellbark hickory

    see more
  • Synonyms Carya alba

  • Family Juglandaceae

  • Genus Carya are vigorous deciduous trees of handsome appearance, the large pinnate leaves colouring well in the autumn; male flowers are in catkins, females are insignificant spikes, followed by nuts, the kernels of some being edible

  • Details C. ovata is a broadly conical, deciduous tree to 20m tall, with ornamental, peeling grey to brown bark. The large leaves usually have five leaflets and turn golden yellow in autumn. Flowers in spring with the male catkins up to 12cm long. Thick-shelled nuts up to 6cm long are edible when ripe

  • Plant range E USA


  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Bushy

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)




  • Full Sun

  • Aspect South-facing or West-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered


  • Sand


  • Chalk


  • Loam


  • MoistureMoist but well-drained

  • SoilSand, Chalk, Loam

  • pHAcid, Neutral, Alkaline


  • Ultimate height Higher than 12 metres

  • Ultimate spread wider than 8 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 20-50 years

How to grow

Cultivation Grow in deep, fertile, humus rich, moist but well-drained soil in sun or partial shade

Propagation Propagate by seed sown in situ as soon as ripe; seedlings rapidly develop a deep tap root and resent transplanting

Suggested planting locations and garden types Low Maintenance Cottage & Informal Garden

How to care

Pruning Pruning group 1

Pests Generally pest free

Diseases Prone to crown gall, powdery mildews and leaf spot (see leaf damage on woody plants)

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