Names and Scientific Names:
Carya sect. Carya
Carya sect. Apocarya
Carya sect. Sinocarya
The genus includes 17–19 species of deciduous trees with pinnately compound leaves and big nuts. Five or six species are native to China, Indochina, and India (Assam Province), 11 or 12 are from the United States, two to four are from Canada and four are found in Mexico.
The heartwood of hickory is reddish brown in color with dark brown stripes, while the sapwood tends toward a creamy white with pinkish tones and fine brown lines
Hickory wood is very hard, stiff, dense, and shock resistant, and is difficult to carve.
Hikory’s hardness is 1820. There are some woods that are stronger than hickory, and some that are harder, but the combination of strength, toughness, hardness, and stiffness found in hickory wood is not found in any other commercial wood.
Although a hardwood, hickory works with little difficulty with both hand and power tools. This wood holds screws well, and it glues, stains, and polishes to a very attractive finish. It can be somewhat difficult to sand with flooring equipment because of its hardness.
Besides flooring, hickory is used for tool handles, bows, wheel spokes, carts, drumsticks, lacrosse stick handles, golf club shafts, the bottom of skis, and walking sticks. Boat paddles are often made from hickory.
Hickory is also highly prized for wood-burning stoves, because of its high energy content. Hickory wood is also a preferred type for smoke curing meats.