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Hickory trees in fall

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One of the most beautiful of fall trees is the hickory. With leaves the color of slightly browned butter (is there anything better than butter?) -- it is quite a standout. Hickory trees tend to be tall and without many side branches, but I often cut sprouts and use them in arrangements in the fall – you don’t need flowers to make beautiful collections of autumnal colored branches. The leaves are compound with individual leaflets large enough to make the leaf itself showy. Carya is the genus for hickory – with about twelve species and also the same genus for pecan. Pecan leaves are anything but attractive in the fall. Pecans are easy to crack just taking two in your hand and squeezing them. Maybe Superman could crack hickory nuts together but not a regular person, these nuts are extraordinarily hard.

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Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.