STRONG WOOD FOR HANDLES AND SPORTS
Hickory shares some of the whippy nature of white ash (Fraxinus americana) and European ash (F. excelsior). The coloring is less consistent, with pinkish latewood and yellowish earlywood, and occasional thin, dark brown lines. This irregularity and the coarse
texture mean hickory is not the first choice when looks are at a premium, but it is favored for drumsticks, fishing rods, skis, tool handles, handmade car bodies and other items that need flexibility and good shock resistance.
Type Temperate hardwood
Other names Pignut hickory (U.S.), broom hickory
Similar species Mockernut hickory (C. tomentosa), shellbark hickory (C. laciniosa), shagbark, red or white hickory (C. ovata), nutmeg hickory (C. myristiciformis) Alternatives American beech (Fagus grandifolia), European ash (Fraxinus excelsior), white
ash (F. alba), butternut (Juglans cinerea)
Sources Eastern North America
Color Cream to pinkish brown
Grain Straight or wavy
Weight Heavy (51 lb./cu. ft.) (820 kg/cu. m)
Strength Strong, shock resistant and bends well
Seasoning and stability Distorts during seasoning but dries quickly, with some shrinkage.
Wastage Some hickories split in seasoning, which may increase wastage, but the white sapwood is of value.
Range of board widths Good
Range of board thicknesses Good
Durability Poor; prone to pests and to rot in the ground
Pecan (C. illinoinensis) is similar to the hickories, but isn't recommended for much more than utility lumber.
There is no indication that hickory is under threat, and it is very unlikely to be. Certified hickory is available.
AVAILABILITY AND COST
The availability and cost of the various hickory species may vary, but prices are moderate for a hardwood, and lumber should be easy to find in a specialist yard.