The hickories are an important group within the
Eastern hardwood forests. Botanically they
are split into two groups; the true hickories,
and the pecan hickories (fruit bearing). The
wood is virtually the same for both and is
usually sold together. Hickory is the hardest,
heaviest and strongest American wood. The sapwood
of hickory is white, tinged with inconspicuous
fine brown lines while the heartwood is pale
to reddish brown. Both are coarse-textured
and the grain is fine, usually straight but
can be wavy or irregular.
The heaviest of American hardwoods, the hickories
can be difficult to machine and glue, and are
very hard to work with hand tools, so care
is needed. They hold nails and screws well,
there is a tendency to split so pre-boring
is advised. The wood can be sanded to a good
The grain pattern welcomes a full range of
medium-to-dark finishes and bleaching treatments.
It can be
difficult to dry and has high shrinkage.
The density and strength of the hickories will
vary according to the rate of growth, with
the true hickories generally showing higher
than the pecan hickories. The wood is well-known
for its very good strength and shock resistance
and it also has excellent steam-bending properties.
Extremely tough and resilient, even texture,
quite hard and only moderately heavy.
For more information, visit the Hardwood
Wood Species copy courtesy
(c) 2001, Hardwood Manufacturers Association