Mockernut (Carya tomentosa)
The Mockernut Hickory is also called white hickory, whiteheart hickory, or big-nut hickory. It is a tall, short-limbed tree averaging 60 feet high and 1 to 2 feet in diameter. The bark is dark gray, hard, closely and deeply furrowed, often apparently cross-furrowed or netted. The winter buds are large, round or broadly egg-shaped, and covered with downy, hard scales. The recent shoots are short, stout and more or less covered with a downy growth. Mockernut Hickory leaves are pinnately compound, which means there are many little leaflets (either seven or nine) surrounding a single stem. The whole leaf grows up to 20 inches long, with each leaflet growing up to eight inches long. They turn a beautiful yellow in the fall.
The flowers, like those of all other hickories, are of two kinds on the same tree, the male in three-branched catkins, the female in clusters of 2 to 5. The fruit is oval, nearly round or slightly pear-shaped with a very thick, strong-scented husk which splits nearly to the base when ripe. The nut is of various forms, but is sometimes 4 to 6 ridged, light brown, and has a very thick shell and small, sweet kernel.
The wood is heavy, hard, tough and strong, it is white excepting the comparatively small, dark-brown heart, hence the name white hickory. It is used for vehicle parts, handles and picker-sticks. It furnishes the best of fuel. Mockernut Hickories also provide cavities for animals to live in, such as woodpeckers, Black Rat Snakes, Raccoons, Black-capped Chickadees, and more. They are also good nesting trees, providing cover for birds with their thick foliage.