Injecting Hickory Trees
I have a lovely hickory tree that deposits approximately
3,000 large hickory nuts in my yard every year. None of the nuts are any
good due to the fact there is not another hickory tree in the area to
Is there any way to stop this tree from flowering every spring as to
decrease the massive number of nuts we pick up every year, one at a time?
Years ago a "fad" existed where a tree could be fertilized and pesticided
through an injection in the tree truck using applicators. These applicators
stayed in the truck all year and a small amount of product seeped into the
tree, as needed.
I do not know what these applicators are called, but I was wondering whether
something like this could be used to make this tree defertile.
Sorry, no such method to stop fruiting except for removing all the flowers
or taking down the tree.
Anthony Brach, Ph.D.
I do not have any information on the 'defertilization'
technique you suggest, but I thought I might provide
some information regarding the hickory's reproduction.
In my estimation, the hickory nuts you see are not
simply infertile because there is not a tree for cross
pollination. A silvics book I consulted confirms that
some hickory species' nuts are only 70-85 percent
viable. I suspect that fertilization is occurring
even lacking a cross pollinator, and that
approximately 70-85% of the nuts could germinate given
good conditions. The remainder of the nuts (15-30%)
are non-viable, possibly due to some genetic or
Because the hickories are monoecious, both female and
male flowers occur on the same tree, so the trees can
be self-fertile; a cross-pollinator, therefore is not
required for reproduction.
Thanks for using NEWTON!
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Update: June 2012