Bitternut Hickory Carya cordiformis
Family: Juglandaceae (Walnut)
Branching: Alternate

This is the probably most common hickory in southern Ontairo.  It has very distinctive buds - naked, yellow, and powdery (beware: they can sometimes look similar to Poison Ivy!!!!).  Witch-hazel probably has the most similar-looking buds, but the leaf scars and growth form will help separate them.  When mature Bitternut Hickories are not as distinctive, but the bark always looks worn.

Bitternut Hickory end bud.  

Closeup of the end bud

Another view of the end bud

Lateral bud.  Hickories as a group have very similar leaf scars.

Another view of the lateral bud.  There are often two lateral buds above a leaf scar

Young bark

Young bark develops vertical "stripes".  This is typical of most young hickories.

Middle-aged bark

Older bark

The shells of Bitternut Hickory nuts are thinner than other hickories.  
The one on the right is an actual nut.

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copyright © 2008 Josh Sayers
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