Wildflowers & Trees Of Appalachia

A Dandy Hickory Tree

large hickory tree with two girls hugging it

A few weekends ago we went on a long hike up the creek. The Deer Hunter wanted to show Chitter where the creek fed out from the Ad Roberson Cove. Things had changed since the last time he was there and the view wasn’t as impressive as he remembered it. The Ivies and Laurel had choked the area off till it was hard to see where the creek actually flowed in. He said it used to be one of his favorite places and he’d always stop and look back at the creek coming out of the cove as he headed on up to hunt.

Since we were in the vicinity  The Deer Hunter said he wanted to show us one of the biggest Hickory trees he’d ever seen. As you can see from the photo it’s a dandy.

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As you might have figured there was some silliness from the girls on the trip—you can see some of it in the video above.


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  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    March 20, 2020 at 12:19 pm

    That’s a nice-looking Hickory. I taught my oldest girl, Lauralea what kind trees were, the best I could tell. Now, after reading lots of books, she knows more than me, and she’ll teach her girls about trees. We went Squirrel Hunting one time, and my second-oldest brother went with us. He carried a Winchester 12 gauge shotgun and got many, but every time I went to shoot, Lauralea would holler ‘run, squirreley, squirreley, squirreley”. I got several, it was in the 70’s when there was so many squirrels, I got many on the ground with daddy’s single shot Remmington .22. When we got thru Hunting, we gathered all them squirrels and cleaned ’em. After Mama Cooked the Squirrels and Squirrel Gravy, Laura didn’t mention it anymore and neither did we. …Ken

  • Reply
    Hank Skewis
    March 20, 2020 at 12:03 pm

    Love trees, thanks. I walked through a grove of trees in the high (10,000 ft) mountains of eastern California last fall, some of which are approaching 5,000 years old. Small and totally gnarly, I was in awe.

  • Reply
    March 20, 2020 at 11:33 am

    Gosh that is a Big one. Took both girls arms to go around it. It’s always fun to have a little fun.

  • Reply
    Mary Johnson
    March 20, 2020 at 10:22 am

    Big dang hickory. My mother made a hickory nut cake back in the day aand I can nearly taste it. Was time consuming crackin the nuts and gettin the meat out but well worth it.

  • Reply
    March 20, 2020 at 9:51 am

    That jogs my memory and causes it to search back. My Father knew all the trees, bushes, and flowers but in my twenty’s I was amazed that my Mother knew so many of the trees and flowers in the forest of the South. I guess 7 girls could get into some situations that their Momma had told them not to do like sneak off & go swimming in the creek without an adult being there on a Sunday afternoon:} and that usually ended with Momma breaking off a “Hickory limb” and giving them a swipe on their bare legs. Seems like I remember Mother talking about eating “Hicker Nuts,” which I assume came from the Hickory Tree. I have always had a love for the forest, streams and mountains that have such unbelievable beauty but I wouldn’t know a Hickory Tree from a Persimmon Tree unless my Mother was there to tell me and then I would get to hear one of her wonderful stories:}

  • Reply
    aw griff
    March 20, 2020 at 9:30 am

    Can’t say for sure from picture but might be a Mockernut Hickory or Pignut Hickory. We have one a little smaller than that one growing on the ole family farm. Dad wanted to cut it for firewood but I asked him not to. That was about 20 yrs. ago and the tree is still thriving. My favorite hickories are the shellbark and shagbark, but we lump them together and call them scalybark. Both have a good edible nut.
    Approx. 35-40 yrs. ago I gathered some pecans in Greenup County KY. close to the Ohio River and started growing seedlings. I kept several for myself and gave the rest away. They are now good size producing trees. Sad to say but the trees I gathered from have been cut down.
    While traveling through Portsmouth Ohio I saw the largest pecan tree I’ve ever seen and I like to believe it was planted by the American Indians. According to the writer Alan Eckert American Indians planted pecan nuts up the Ohio River all the way to Pittsburg PA. Pecan trees can live well over 200 yrs. so the one in Portsmouth could be one they planted.

  • Reply
    March 20, 2020 at 9:26 am

    Ahh, I think I see poison oak vine growing up that bark, hope you got some jewel weed juice in the freezer.

    • Reply
      Melissa P. (Misplaced Southerner)
      March 20, 2020 at 10:28 am

      I sure wish pecan trees grew this far north (south-central Michigan). They are just about my favorite, non-flowering tree. None of my old favorites grow up here, so I have to make-do with big oaks and cherry (the non-bearing kind). We do have a couple of large redbuds in our yard, and get wild apple and pear trees that bloom and the occasional plum in the woods, but this time of year I do miss dogwoods.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    March 20, 2020 at 9:14 am

    Looks like them vines growing up that big old tree there might be poison ivy but I can’t tell from here. Are them girls suspectible to infectuation from that stuff? Hits nasty!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    March 20, 2020 at 8:04 am

    I’d like to find a big shellbark hickory that size. They have nuts as big as a walnut. They like limestone country though. You all might have some in the Murphy Marble Belt.

    Maybe the girls had spring fever. We went hiking yesterday looking at the wildflowers. Bloodroot, anemone and wood violet are blooming. Also saw some mushrooms but no morels. I did see some poke up about 3-4″ also but ours here is not up.

    For those who missed it, yesterday was the vernal equinox and the official beginning of spring. It was the earliest one in 124 years. I wonder if that is because of leap year this year.

    • Reply
      aw griff
      March 20, 2020 at 9:55 am

      Ron, I only know of two shellbark hickories close to me and one is on my my Sister’s farm and the other is on a farm my Brother used to own. The one on my Sister’s farm is huge. They aren’t very plentiful in the acidic soils of E.KY. Like you said,they like limestone soils.
      Several yrs. ago my Brother gave me a box of shellbark and scalybark nuts. I planted the Shellbark nuts and didn’t protect them. Yelp, the squirrels got em all.

      • Reply
        Ron Stephens
        March 20, 2020 at 2:09 pm

        I know scalybark but I have never seen a big shellbark in the woods to know what it was. I do not remember now how I ever became acquainted with the nut. I have always wanted to find one along about October and load up.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 20, 2020 at 6:44 am

    The gentle majesty of our mountains and streams is something to behold whether the trees are in full green or the stark bareness of winter, ever changing. I love our mountains!

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