Journal Notes: Hickory – Is a species of deciduous hardwood tree with featured compound leaves and big oval shaped nuts. The nuts can be anywhere from 2-5 cm in length and 1.5 – 3 cm in diameter. They are enclosed in a four valved husk which splits open at maturity. The nut shell is thick and bony in most species but a few varieties have thin shells. The nut is divided into two halves which split apart when the seed germinates. Some species of hickory include pecan, shagbark, walnut, etc. There are no poisonous varieties I’m aware of but the bitternut and the pignut, which have thin shells, are considered inedible. The nuts ripen in late summer to early fall. From September – November the green husks begin to turn dark brown, split open and fall from the tree. When collecting the nuts, remove any husks and check for weevil holes, rot or disease and discard if they appear defective. Crack open the nutshell to access the tender nut meat inside. They can be eaten raw, dried and roasted or added to breads and bannocks.
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