The hickory tree is a valuable tree because of its hardwood and deep root system that helps protect it from strong winds. It is a member of the walnut family and produces nuts common for a variety of recipes.


Hickory trees can grow to 100 feet in height and about 25 feet wide, with common species known as shagbark, shellbark, pignut and bitternut. It is a deciduous tree with colorful leaves in the fall. Flowers are both male and female on hickory trees.


Moist bottomlands and floodplains are the primary growth areas for hickory trees. Hickory trees are native to many states in the United States, though well-known in the state of Indiana.


The hardwood from hickory trees is valuable for building furniture and smoking meat. While the nuts are valuable for humans, many wildlife creatures -- such as birds, squirrels and deer -- prefer the nuts as well.