Trees in the genus Carya (from Ancient Greek for "nut") are commonly known as hickory. The hickory genus includes 17–19 species of deciduous trees with pinnately compound leaves and large nuts.
A dozen or so species are native to North America (11–12 in the United States, 1 in Mexico), and 5–6 species from China and Indochina. The hickory tree, along with the oaks, dominates the hardwood forests of eastern North America.
The Common North American Hickory Species
Hickory twigs have tan, 5-sided or angled soft centers called piths. The tree's bark is variable along species lines and not helpful except for loose, flaky shagbark hickory. The tree's fruit is a nut and husks are often visible under a dormant tree. Most hickory species have stout twigs with large terminal buds.
Leaves: mostly alternate, pinnately compound, finely toothed.
Fruit: hard-shelled nut.