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Shagbark Hickory vs Shellbark Hickory: [Differences]

Shagbark hickory, also called blood Hickory, is a type of hardwood tree that is native to the eastern United States. It was once used for furniture making because it is strong and durable. Shagbark hickory is a popular choice for bird houses because it is easy to work with and stands up to weather conditions well.

Shellbark hickory, on the other hand, is a type of hickory that is found in the Great Lakes region of North America. It is said to be more productive than shagbark hickory, but it is less resistant to moisture damage.

We will discuss the pros and cons of each type of hickory in this blog article.

Shagbark Hickory

Shagbark Hickory vs Shellbark Hickory

The shagbark hickory is one of the most common types of hickory trees. It gets its name from the long, shaggy bark that hangs down from the tree’s trunk. The shagbark hickory is a deciduous tree, meaning it loses its leaves in the fall.

These trees are native to North America and can be found in woodlands throughout the United States and Canada.

One of the most distinguishing features of the shagbark hickory is its bark. The shaggy bark is made up of long, thin strips that Hang down from the tree’s trunk.

The inner bark is a light brown color, while the outer bark is a dark brown or black color. The shagbark hickory’s leaves are also unique; they are large and have seven to nine lobes. The leaves turn yellow or red in the fall before they are shed from the tree.

The shagbark hickory is an important tree for both humans and wildlife. The nuts produced by these trees are edible and were once a major food source for Native Americans.

Today, the nuts are still eaten by squirrels, chipmunks, and other small animals. The wood of the shagbark hickory is also valuable; it is hard and durable, making it ideal for furniture and flooring.

Shellbark Hickory

The shagbark hickory and shellbark hickory are both native to North America. They are similar in many ways, but there are also some key differences between the two.

Shagbark hickories are typically taller than shellbark hickories, reaching up to 100 feet tall. Shellbarks tend to be smaller, only reaching about 60 feet in height. Shagbarks also have thicker bark, which helps them resist fire damage better than shellbarks.

The shellbark’s thinner bark makes it more susceptible to fire damage.

Another key difference between these two types of hickory is their nuts. Shagbark hickory nuts are larger and easier to extract from the tree than shellbark hickory nuts. Shellbarks have smaller nuts that are more difficult to remove from the tree.

If you’re looking for a durable tree with large, easy-to-extract nuts, then the shagbark hickory is the right choice for you. If you prefer a smaller tree with thinner bark, then the shellbark hickory may be a better option.

Shagbark Hickory Vs Shellbark Hickory

What’s the difference between shagbark and shellbark hickories? Both types of hickory are native to North America, and both are prized for their hard, dense wood. But there are some key differences between these two types of hickory.

Shagbark hickory is characterized by its shaggy bark, which can be up to an inch thick. The inner bark is a pale yellow color, while the outer bark is a dark brown. This type of hickory is also known for its large nuts, which can be up to 2 inches in diameter.

Shellbark hickory, on the other hand, has thinner bark that is more smooth than shaggy. The inner bark of shellbark hickory is a reddish-brown color, while the outer bark is a dark brown. This type of hickory typically has smaller nuts than shagbark hickory.

So which type of hickory is better? That really depends on your needs. If you’re looking for hardwood with a tight grain that’s good for smoking meats, then shagbark hickory is a good choice. If you need a strong wood for construction purposes, then shellbark hickory would be a better option.

Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference.


It is clear that both shagbark hickory and shellbark hickory have their own unique benefits. Shagbark hickory is great for producing a lot of nuts, while shellbark hickory is known for being more drought-resistant. In the end, it really depends on your specific needs as to which type of hickory is best for you.

Brian Koller

Growing up on a farm in eastern PA, I’ve grown fond of wildlife and the woods and learning about the critters and firewood and everything else in-between. I made this site to share my experiences and knowledge.

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