Carlyle Lake



Carya illinoensis


Other Name: None

Pecan Bark
Pecan Bark
Pecan Leaf
Pecan Leaf
Pecan Nut
Pecan Nut - Open Husk
Pecan Nuts
Pecan Nut - Closed Husk

Leaves: Alternate, pinnately compound, with 9-19 leaflets; leaflets lance-shaped, curved, long-pointed at the tip, rounded or tapering to the asymmetrical base, finely doubly-toothed, yellow-green and usually smooth or hairy on the lower surface, up to 8 inches long and3 inches long.

Buds: Long-pointed, covered with yellow glandular dots and fine hairs, up to one-half inch long.

Bark: Reddish-brown, becoming roughened into platy scales.

Twigs: Rather, stout, brown, hairy when young, but becoming smooth; leaf scars alternate, 3-lobed, scarcely elevated, with 3-18 bundle traces.

Flowers: Staminate and pistillate borne separately, but on the same tree, appearing when the leaves are partly grown, the staminate many in slender, drooping, yellow-green catkins, pistillate fewer in the shorter spikes, neither type with petals.

Fruits: Ellipsoid, pointed at the tip, up to 2 inches long and 1 inch broad, the husk narrowly 4-winged, dark brown but with yellow scales, thin usually splitting nearly to the base, the nut pointed at the tip, reddish-brown with black markings, the shell thin, the seed sweet.

Wood: Hard, heavy, coarse-grained, light reddish-brown.

Uses: The nuts are prized for their tastiness; the wood is used for interior finishing, furniture, fuel, and tool handles.

Habitat: Moist woods, particularly along rivers.

Growth Form: Large trees, up to 150 feet tall: Its trunk diameter up to 3 feet; crown widely spreading and rounded; trunk rather short, stout, straight.

Distinguishing Feature: The Pecan differs from all other hickories by its greater number of leaflets. The black walnut and Butternut which have as many leaflets, have a partitioned pith. In every case, the fruit of the Pecan is distinctive.

Source: Mohlenbrock, Robert. Forest Trees of Illinois. Eighth Edition, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, 1996.