Hickory is composed of at least 16 species. The word carya is from the Greek name for nut. 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 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.


Eastern to Midwestern United States

Working Properties

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, but there is a tendency to split so pre-boring is advised. The wood can be sanded to a good finish. It can be difficult to dry and has high shrinkage.

Physical Properties

The density and strength of the hickories will vary according to the rate of growth, with the ture hickories generally showing higher values than the pecan hickories. The wood is well-known for its very good strength and shock resistance and its also has excellent steam-bending properties. Exremely tough and resilient, even texture, quite hard and only moderately heavy.


Rated as slightly or nonresistant to heartwood decay.


Tool handles, furniture, cabinetry, sporting goods, flooring fuelwood, charcoal.