As summer turns into fall we look to the trees, the leaves, the fruit, the nuts, all full and ready to fall.
One of the most abundant of the nut trees here in Ohio is the hickory. There are three types of hickory here in Ohio, the butternut, the shagbark, and the shellbark.
"The number of leaflets on a Hickory leaf and their size are a good identifier. Bitternut are the smallest leaf (about one foot but usually with 7 leaflets) and Shellbark are the largest (one to two feet, also usually with 7 leaflets). Shagbark Hickory leaves tend to have 5 leaflets and the size ranges from one foot to 15 inches." -odnr
We'll be focusing on the shagbark hickory.
(note, the tree pictured does have 7 leaflets but its fruits and bark verify it is in fact a shagbark)
As the fruits ripen from late summer through early fall, their outer shell turns from bright green to dark brown, the shell will crack open and fall to the ground.
Once fully ripened and upon the ground, they will easily come apart from their outer shell for easy collecting.
After collecting, get a handy dandy set of nut crackers and pick, put on a movie, and open and pick out all the 'meat' from the shell.
Fun facts about the hickory...
Harvesting season is upon us, see you in the woods!
Since 2015 we have been exploring and sharing all the amazing things we’ve found in nature.
Emily is an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist who is most often found out in the woods.