How Fast Do Hickory Trees Grow?

Even with a slow growth rate, it steadily reaches a huge size of around eighty feet

How Fast Do Hickory Trees

Robert Holmes/pelicankate/David Kozlowski/gettyimages


Hickory trees are an asset to open areas and landscapes. Their vast size makes them somewhat unsuitable for urban gardens.


Its nuts are an excellent food source for mammals, birds, and insects. Though many pros are associated with hickory trees, one severe downside is that they take a while to mature. It is why most people consider other shade trees over them.


So, how fast do hickory trees grow? Hickory trees have a slow growth rate of adding a foot every year. They mature into sizeable trees of 60-80 feet (sometimes even taller) and 40 feet wide. Hence, there should be ample room for them to grow and thrive wherever you plant them. It takes around 10-15 years for them to start producing nuts.


The Majestic Hickory Trees..

Hickories have intriguing bark, excellent fall color, and are a good value to wildlife. They are tap-rooted. Thus, we recommend planting them where you can keep them, and your future generations will enjoy its shade and other advantages for decades to follow.


All hickory trees are excellent habitat trees for small animals and birds and are employed for their hardwood.


Is The Hickory Tree Growth Rate Slow?

Unfortunately, hickory trees have a slow growth rate. On average, they take about 10 to 15 years to yield nuts. In alternate years, the tree bears heavy and light crops.


Though you cannot change the tree’s growth rate, you can definitely aid it through good care and maintenance during its young days.


How Much Do Hickory Trees Grow Per Year?

You have heard it – All good things come to those who wait, and hickory trees make it believable. The hickory growth rate is different for its species. But, it is indeed on the slower end of the spectrum. On average hickory trees grow up to 12 inches annually.


While some trees like the Shagbark Hickory trees grow at roughly 1’ per year, others like Shellbark Hickory grow even less than 12” per year.


Hence, given the slow growth rate of hickory trees, it takes them years to achieve a mature height.


What Factors Affect The Growth Rate Of Hickories?

On average, they grow between 60 and 80 feet with a decent 40 feet spread. The plant can tolerate almost all soil types but demand good drainage. It produces nuts and thrives when it gets access to full sun to partial shade.


However, for excellent growth, you must give it access to at least four hours of unfiltered sun daily.


During the first season, you must water the hickory trees enough to keep the soil lightly moist. After that, in the subsequent years, you should water strictly during dry spells. Water it enough to allow deep penetration.


Further, build a weed-free zone to eliminate the competition for nutrients and moisture under the canopy.


Though the plants are not heavy feeders, you can fertilize them during fall or spring. Fertilizing can directly influence how fast do hickory trees grow. In the initial days, it may be challenging for you to decide how much fertilizer is too much. So, start by measuring the trunk’s diameter five feet from the ground.


Once you have the number with you, take 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer, and use a pound of fertilizer for every inch of the diameter. Evenly spread the fertilizer underneath the tree’s canopy. Water it thoroughly for the fertilizer to penetrate deep into the soil.


Which Is The Fastest Growing Hickory?

Broadly there are two types of hickories – True Hickory and Pecan Hickory, and the growth rate is different for both kinds and the multiple varieties in them.


Shagbark hickory, or Carya ovata, is the fastest growing True Hickory, whereas the Pecan or Carya illinoensis is the fastest growing Pecan Hickory.


Frequently Asked Questions

Ques 1. How fast do shagbark hickory trees grow?

Ans. Shagbark hickory growth rate is slow. These trees add less than 12 inches annually to their height.


Ques 2. How tall do hickory trees grow?

Ans. Hickory trees are usually tall and grow between sixty and eight feet with a spread of about forty feet.


Ques 3. How long do hickory trees live?

Ans. Hickory trees have a long life and usually live for two hundred years.


Ques 4. How far apart should you plant hickory trees?

Ans. Looking at how wide and tall hickory trees tend to grow, it is best to plant them 20 feet apart.


Ques 5. Is There Any Reason I Shouldn’t Plant A Hickory?

Ans. Hickory trees are high-branching, attractive trees that make for top-notch shade trees. But its falling nuts can damage the cars. Hence, keep the hickory trees away from the streets and the driveways. Also, they need a lot of space to grow and flourish.

Summing up…

So, even though hickory trees are excellent additions to any landscape, they have a slow growth rate. But, if you consider it from the long-term perspective, the slow hickory tree growth rate makes it a valuable pick.