Shagbark hickory and shellbark hickory trees produce crunchy flavored nuts to eat, and many gardeners consider that the hickory nut and pecan are the finest nuts to taste and grow. The hickories prefer to grow in wet locations, and usually don't bear nuts until the tree grows to be about 15 feet tall, but the hickory tree is a dependable yearly nut producer once bearing starts.
The hickory tree and the? pecan tree can hybridize and form a thinner shell than the hickory nut, and that hybrid is called a 'Hican.' The Hican tree is an extremely cold hardy nut tree with a flavor that combines the spicy hickory with the oily pecan. The American native hickory tree has very dense wood fibers and the hickory wood chips are an excellent product to use for smoking meats and other food for that delicious hickory smoky aroma that also helps to preserve the meats.