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. The sapwood of hickory is white, tinged with brown, while the heartwood is pale to reddish brown. Both are coarse textured and the grain is usually straight but can be wavy or irregular.
The hickories are considered difficult to machine and glue, and are very hard to work with hand tools, so care is needed. They hold nails and screws well, but there is a tendency to split, so pre-boring is advised. The wood can be sanded and polished to a good finish. It can be difficult to dry and has a large shrinkage.
The density and strength of the hickories will vary according to the rate of growth, with the true hickories generally showing higher values 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.
Rated as non-resistant to heartwood decay. The sapwood is liable to attack by the powder post beetle. The wood is classified as resistant to preservative treatment.
Tool handles, furniture, cabinetry, flooring, wooden ladders, dowels and sporting goods.