Shagbarks are among our hardiest native nut trees, growing from the Canada border south through the central and eastern states to Texas and Florida (zones 4 to 9). They will tolerate cold winter temperatures as low as -10F.
Hickories grow best in full sun. They prefer a well-drained, fertile soil that is slightly acid (pH 6.0 to 6.5). Plant the trees in the spring. Choose nursery stock rather than "volunteer" seedlings in the woods. Choose young trees whose roots and soil ball are wrapped in burlap. Because they have long taproots--a year old tree will likely have a foot long taproot-- they are difficult to transplant successfully. Once established, however, this taproot assures a stable tree. Plant 2 or more trees near each other to ensure efficient pollination and a generous crop of nuts. Newly planted trees may need staking.