North Dakota is home to a variety of tree species, but hickory trees are not commonly found in the state.
Hickory trees prefer the warmer climates of the eastern and southern United States.
However, there are a few species of hickory that may be found in parts of North Dakota.
- Hickory trees are not common in North Dakota and prefer the warmer climates of the eastern and southern United States.
- The shagbark hickory is the species most likely to be found in North Dakota. Its range extends into the eastern part of the state.
- Shellbark hickory may also be found in isolated parts of eastern North Dakota, as its range extends into adjacent areas.
- Bitternut hickory is another species that may occur in eastern North Dakota, as its range reaches into the Midwest.
- Other hickory species like pecan and mockernut can grow if planted, but are not native to North Dakota.
- The hickory species most likely to naturally occur in North Dakota are shagbark, shellbark, and bitternut hickories in limited areas of the eastern part of the state.
- Hickory trees are relatively rare in North Dakota compared to many other states due to the colder climate and shorter growing season.
1. Shagbark Hickory
The shagbark hickory (Carya ovata) is the hickory species most likely to be found in North Dakota.
Its range extends into the eastern Dakotas, including parts of southeastern North Dakota.
Shagbark hickory is identifiable by its gray, shaggy bark that peels away in long strips.
It produces sweet, edible nuts.
This species prefers moist soils and is usually found along streams and bottomlands.
2. Shellbark Hickory
Shellbark hickory (Carya laciniosa) may also be found in isolated parts of eastern North Dakota.
Its range extends into southeastern South Dakota, so it may also occur in adjacent areas of North Dakota.
The shellbark hickory has a distinctive bark with thick, hard plates that curve outward at both ends.
It produces the largest nuts of all the hickory species.
The bitternut hickory (Carya cordiformis) is another hickory with a range that may extend into eastern North Dakota.
It is commonly found in the Midwest and produces bitter-tasting nuts.
This species has smooth gray bark with diamond-shaped furrows. It tends to thrive in moist soils.
While not native to the area, other hickory species have been known to grow when planted in North Dakota.
These include the pecan (Carya illinoinensis) and mockernut hickory (Carya tomentosa).
However, these species are not naturally adapted to survive North Dakota's cold winters and shorter growing season.
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