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Shagback Hickory Nut Husk.  Shagbark hickory trees (Carya ovata) are named for their shaggy gray bark.  The leaves are made up of 5 to 7 leaflets, and they turn bright yellow in fall.  The nuts are highly valued by wildlife, and they are protected by these thick husks, which break into four pieces when the nuts mature. 

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Photographs by Valerie Lykes