Mockernut hickory is a tree in the walnut family. It is a very common hickory in the eastern half of the United States. The trees can live up to 300 hundred years, but most of them are cut before then to be used for making wood products where strength and flexibility are needed. The Latin name comes from the word tomentum, which means “covered with dense hairs.” These hairs are found under the leaves and help to identify the species. The mockernut name indicates the large shell of the fruit that actually contains very tiny amounts of fruit. The nuts are food for squirrels and many birds, while deer eat the twigs and leaves. The wood is often used for tool handles, ladder rungs, athletic goods, dowel rods, well pumps, and furniture. Lesser-quality wood is used for making pallets and sawdust for smoking meats.