How to Grow Hickory Trees From Seed

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Hickory trees are part of the walnut family. This tree is slow-growing but lives a long time. The wood from hickory trees have many uses from floors to being added to meat smokers for a wonder flavor. This tree has a long taproot, so it is not easily uprooted. Hickory trees also provide nuts to feet people and animals. Hickory trees can grow to heights of 100 feet, with a spread of 25 feet.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Gloves
  • Trowel
  • Wire mesh
  • U-shaped wire, bricks or rocks
  • Organic mulch
  • Stick
  • Gather hickory nuts when they are on the ground. The nuts have a leathery exterior, light green in color.

  • Fill a bucket with water and place the hickory nuts into the water. Allow them to soak for four days. This helps soften the outside of the nut so you can get to the seed. Throw away any nuts that float on top of the water as this indicates that the seed is not viable.

  • Choose an area that has ample sunlight and room for the tree to grow. Pull the weeds and grass in a 2-foot circle. If the weeds are left, they will rob the soil of nutrients that the tree needs to grow.

  • Remove the hull off the nut, down to the shell. Do not remove the shell. Wear gloves when doing this step, because the hulls can stain your skin and clothes.

  • Dig a hole that is three inches deep and place a nut into the hole. Dig another hole about an inch away and plant another seed in case one of the seeds doesn't germinate. Fill the hole in with the soil and firm the soil in place. Protect the seed from squirrels by placing a piece of wire mesh over the area. Secure the wire mesh in place with U-shaped pieces of wire. You can also use bricks or rocks to keep the mesh in place.

  • Water the area thoroughly before winter sets in and the ground freezes.

  • Mark the area with a stick, so you know where you planted the seeds.

  • Remove the mesh early in the spring, but keep the marker in place so you don't mow over the top of your tree.

  • Water the area to keep the soil moist, but not overly wet.

  • Weed the area around the tree, and add 2 to 3 inches of organic mulch. If both seeds germinated, remove the smallest tree and keep the strongest one.

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