A large tree up to 75 feet or more, develops a straight, cleartrunk with a narrow crown under competition in the forest.  The tree produces a chemical that inhibits growth of other plants beneath it. Branches and twigs are stout.  The wood is prized and durable – used in cabinets, furniture, veneer and gunstocks. The nuts are used in cakes and candy. The husks were used by the pioneers as dye and as a metal preservative for traps to keep them from rusting.  A member of the Walnut Family.


12 to 24” long with narrow pointed leaflets 3” long. Yellow-green above, paler below.


Light brown on surface, darker when cut. Ridged and roughly  furrowed with a diamond pattern.


Stout twig, orange brown. Leaf scars are 3 lobed, resembling a “monkey face”.


Round, 2-2 ½”with thick green husk. Husk contains a hard nut with sweet, oily, edible meat. Matures in late summer to fall, turning brown.


Species is unisexual – males are single stem catkins, 2 ½-5 ½”long, females on short spikes near twig end. Yellow-green in late spring.