My friend Phil and I got a call about a big hickory that came down at historic Pealiquor Landing on the Choptank River below Denton.

This was a big tree.  You can see it from low-earth orbit.

We kept four log sections from going to the firewood pile.  They’re over 18 inches in diameter and 4 to 6 feet in length.

But we couldn’t take these big sections. We’re not big-time operators, and we don’t drop trees. A tree service will have to come in to handle the rest.

Which hickory is this?

We couldn’t tell right away which hickory species this is.  There were no leaves or nuts on this tree by the time we got there.  Hickories produce nuts every year.  So it looked like the squirrels had already gotten to these.

We looked at other clues – natural range, habitat, and bark.

Range and habitat

If this tree was planted rather than naturally seeded, it could be any hickory variety. But this seemed unlikely.  Pealiquor Landing was a place of commerce, not a family estate, when this tree sprouted a century ago.  Nearby walnut trees scattered about the lawn are about 40 years old.   And this hickory was not like the yard trees. It stood out of the way near the edge of the high ground overlooking the river.

What hickories are native to Delmarva? The National Wildlife Foundation’s Field Guide to Trees of North America lists bitternut, mockernut, and pignut hickory in this area.

But here in Caroline County, we have another excellent local resource – Adkins Arboretum – for learning about trees in our area.  This Adkins tree map also shows sand hickory growing along the Creekside Trail.  You can click any tree on the map to pop up details about size and condition and links to photos from USDA and the Maryland Plant Atlas about that hickory species.

All four of these hickory species grown on dry upland slopes like this one.  (The bitternut also grows in swampy lowlands.)

Bark

By comparing the bark of all four species, it looks like this one is a mockernut hickory.

Bitternut hickory

Mockernut hickory

Pignut hickory

Sand hickory

The Pealiquor Landing hickory

So, we think it’s a mockernut.

Where can I use hickory in a workboat?  Proably just the tiller.  Got  hickory for lots of tillers.