Color/Appearance:Heartwood tends to be light to medium brown, with a reddish hue; sapwood is a paler yellowish brown. Boards with contrasting heartwood and sapwood create a somewhat rustic appearance that’s sometimes marketed as Calico Hickory.
Grain/Texture:Grain is usually straight, though occasionally wavy, with a medium texture.
Endgrain:Ring-porous; large to very large earlywood pores in a single intermittent row, medium to small latewood pores solitary and radial multiples of 2-3, few; tyloses common; parenchyma reticulate (bands absent from earlywood row in true hickory group, but present in pecan hickory group); narrow rays, close spacing.
Rot Resistance:Considered to be non-durable to perishable regarding heartwood decay, and also very susceptible to insect attack.
Workability:Difficult to work, with tearout being common during machining operations if cutting edges are not kept sharp; the wood tends to blunt cutting edges. Glues, stains, and finishes well. Responds well to steam bending.
Pricing/Availability:Various species of Hickory and Pecan (Carya genus) are typically mixed together and simply sold as Hickory. Prices are usually in the low to mid range, depending upon local availability. Hickory prices should compare similarly to other utility hardwoods such asRed OakorSoft Maple.
Sustainability:This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Common Uses:Tool handles, ladder rungs, wheel spokes, flooring, etc.