Names and Scientific Names:
Carya sect. Carya
Carya sect. Apocarya
Carya sect. Sinocarya
Hickory is a type of tree, comprising the genus Carya (Ancient Greek: κάρυον, káryon, meaning "nut"). The genus includes 17 to 19 species. Five or six species are native to China, Indochina, and India (State of Assam), as many as 12 are native to the United States, four are found in Mexico, and two to four are from Canada.
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.
Hickory wood is very hard, stiff, dense and shock resistant. There are woods that are stronger than hickory and woods that are harder, but the combination of strength, toughness, hardness, and stiffness found in hickory wood is not found in any other commercial wood. It is used for tool handles, bows, wheel spokes, carts, drumsticks, lacrosse stick handles, golf club shafts (sometimes still called hickory stick, even though made of steel or graphite), the bottom of skis, walking sticks, and for punitive use as a switch (like hazel), and especially as a cane-like hickory stick in schools and use by parents. Paddles are often made from hickory. This property of hickory wood has left a trace in some Native American languages: in Ojibwe, hickory is called "mitigwaabaak", a compound of mitigwaab "bow" and the final -aakw "hardwood tree"
Baseball bats were formerly made of hickory, but are now more commonly made of ash. Hickory is replacing ash as the wood of choice for Scottish shinty sticks (also known as camans). Hickory was extensively used for the construction of early aircraft.
It 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.
Hickory is used for wood flooring due to its durability in resisting wear and character. Hickory wood is not noted for rot resistance.