What Is a Water Hickory Tree?

What Is a Water Hickory Tree

There are indeed a total of 18 different hickory species available in the world. And once you search them, you will possibly ask, what is a water hickory tree? Basically, it is known to be a wetland plant that grows in flood zones often, the name speaks for itself!

Every hickory tree’s growth rate is not the same. Plus, each of its nuts is not edible for all kinds of living beings. So, are water hickory tree nuts edible? Let’s dive straight into further details!

What is a Water Hickory Tree?

What Is a Water Hickory Tree

Native to the eastern side of North America, the water hickory tree is known to be a common type of deciduous tree. As the name suggests, it is a wetland plant that often prefers to grow gradually in flood zones.

What Is a Water Hickory Tree

Talking about the size and appearance, an average tall water hickory tree goes up to 100 ft. long with large leaves and brownish bark. Leaves can be around 9 to 15″ long with pure green color.

Being not able to make the fastest growth, water hickory trees are unable to produce fruit before it has reached at least 20 years. That said, hickory wood has plenty of household and industrial applications, such as cabinets, furniture, flooring, tool handles, and so on!

Where Does A Water Hickory Tree Grow?

What Is a Water Hickory Tree

Even though a water hickory tree matches several types of soils, a fertile, deep, and well-draining spot is the best place for them to grow correctly. And let it be full sunlight or the shade, water hickory trees are able to thrive in both places. But you must wait for a long period of time to enjoy its fruits as their growth rate is relatively slow.

Can Someone Eat Water Hickory Nuts?

What Is a Water Hickory Tree

Unfortunately, the skin that covers the water hickory nut’s kernel consists of tannin. And that is what makes them kind of bitter in terms of the taste! So usually, they are not edible.

But luckily, there are other 18 kinds of hickory trees consisting of edible nuts. In fact, they are considered to be quite nutritious, especially if anyone consumes them at the right time. Feel free to watch the given video to easily identify some common hickory plants by considering their leaves:

But note that many hickory nuts’ shells include a specific chemical named “Juglone.” Being kind of toxic, it is not safe to consume for dogs, which might cause obesity and distress!

Why Should You Consider Water Hickory a Good Tree?

What Is a Water Hickory Tree

Alongside their uses in industrial and household applications, water hickory trees come in handy for a few reasons. Some of them are as follows:

  • A limited amount of water hickory nuts can be useful for feral hogs, squirrels, and ducks.
  • Water hickory trees can give you natural shade with their giant leaves.
  •  People often like to rely on hickory wood to create fence posts and firewood projects.
  • Last but not least, water hickory trees are quite able to resist disease and pests, allowing them to live longer.


As you know, hickory trees are of different types. As a result, it is common that their characteristics, growth rates, lifespan, and other things will be different too. So now that you know “what is a water hickory tree,” I guess you can decide whether the plant suits your yard and recommendations. 

As water hickory trees make the ideal match with wetlands, I’d suggest planting them in flood zones. Thus, you can enjoy their optimal growth!

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q’s):

1. What are the synonyms of water hickory?

“Carya Aquatica” is the scientific name of water hickory, which is also used as a synonym. Other common synonyms include the bitter pecan, bitter hickory, swamp hickory, and water pignut. 

2. Where is the oldest water hickory tree situated?

North Carolina is where the oldest hickory trees stand for over 500 years. Each year, they tend to grow about 2 ft. and reach up to 65 feet.

3. What is the average lifespan of a hickory tree?

Depending on the species, the average lifespan of hickory trees varies. But in most cases, the majority of them last around 200-300 years.

Md Biajid

Meet Mia Biajid, a passionate nature lover. Particularly, he has a deep-rooted connection to the plant. Mia loves to spend time exploring forests and uncovering the secrets held within trees. He always inspires others to appreciate and protect our precious part of the ecosystem.

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