How to Harvest Hickory Nuts


Hickory nuts are eaten straight from the shell, or they can be roasted or toasted first. Hickory nuts are also used in baked goods such as cakes, muffins and cookies. They are even crushed and boiled and made into a broth. Sometimes hickory nuts are added to other foods such as stuffing, rice and vegetable side dishes. If you are fortunate enough to have access to a hickory tree, harvesting its nuts is quite easy.

Step 1

Gather the nuts that have dropped from the tree. Gather them every couple of days to prevent the squirrels and other animals from getting them first. Fill a bucket up about half way with nuts.

Step 2

Fill the bucket with water. This will both wash the nuts and sort out the ones that were infested by weevils.

Step 3

Scoop out the nuts floating on top of the water. These nuts are the good nuts that are now ready for curing, cracking and long-term storage. Throw out the nuts that sink.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket


  • Iowa State University Extension: Ask the ISU Experts
  • University of Nebraska Lincoln Extension: Nuts- Harvesting and Storing
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About this Author

Melissa Lewis graduated from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has written over 20 episodes for the radio drama entitled "A Work in Progress." She also writes for several online outlets, including Gardenguides, Travels and Examiner, and is currently finalizing a movie script to be filmed in 2010.