Pale Hickory: Caesers Head State Park, SC   Jess Riddle
  Nov 29, 2004 19:31 PST 

Pale Hickory (Carya pallida), also known as sand hickory, generally ranges
from southern Mississippi to southern Virginia, but isolated populations
extend into southern new Jersey. Most often encountered on dry or sandy
sites in the piedmont, pale hickory occasionally occurs in the coastal
plain and in the southern Appalachians up to at least 2900' elevation.
Given the species common habitat, the tree's tendency to have heavier
branches and a more irregular growth form than other hickories may not be
surprising. The leaves also differ from other hickories in having silvery
scales on the underside of the leaves that make some leaflets almost
white, hence the species' name. Most of the trees in the southern
Appalachians also have small leaves that make them readily identifiable
from a distance. The thin husked fruits are fairly small and nearly
round. The species bark most closely resembles pignut hickory, but may be
considerable darker. (range and some character data taken from Brown and
Kirkman's Trees of Georgia and Adjacent States and minorly from Duncan and
Duncan's Trees of the Southeastern United States)

The dry, very rocky, south facing slopes in Jones Gap and Caesars Head
State Parks, in SC adjacent to the NC state line, support large
populations of pale hickory, often in uncut forests. Chestnut oak forms
the greatest portion of the canopy at those sites, but northern red oak,
pignut hickory and other hardwoods also associate with the pale hickories.
Curiously, the understories at the sites range from open, to dense
carolina rhododendron, to thickets of immature paw paw. All of the trees
listed below grow along the Natureland Trust Trail on the south side of
Caesars Head in Caesars Head state park.

Cbh Height Comment
NA 88.3'
5'7" 94.2'
9'5" 95.1' Swollen Base
4'5" 102.0' Tallest known in state

Jess Riddle