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Hickory tree appearance wood uses and lumber

Hickory trees are common throughout the east of North America and Canada. Most common species are the mockernut and shagbark hickory tree. Both trees are famous for their excellent wood properties. Vintage baseball cubs, golf clubs and hockey sticks are often made from hickory wood. The scientific name of the mockernut hickory tree is carya tomentosa and is part of the juglandaceae family.

hickory trees

Hickory tree, leaf and fruit description

hickory tree fruits bark and seedsMockernut hickory trees can grow to heights up to 105 feet or 32 meters. The tree is classed deciduous and won't have leaves from the end of autumn to early spring.

Hickory leaves have small toothed edges and are typically arranged. The first three leaflets are opposite digitate arranged, directly behind are two smaller leaflets arranged opposite. The hickory tree has big obovate shaped leaves that can reach lengths up to 10 inches or 25 cm and vary in color from bright green to dark yellow in autumn.

The tree has green round shaped fruits with nuts inside. Many hickory nuts are not fit for human consumption and used as food for animals or crushed to make lamp oil.

Hickory tree bark and trunk

Yong mockernut hickory trees have smooth grey brown bark. Older trees have darker and rough irregular plated bark. The hickory tree has a long trunk with many smaller branches attached. The diameter of the trunk depends on the age of the tree. Old trees can have trunks with a diameter up to 3.2 feet or 1 meter.

Hickory wood properties and durability

Fresh hickory heartwood has a pale reddish brown color. The sapwood is lighter more yellow brown colored. Exposure to sunlight gives both wood types a darker color. Hickory wood is known for its nice colorations, tight coarse texture, high strength, high stiffness and good shock resistance. The average dried weight of the wood at a moisture content of 12% is 820 kg per cubic meter. The durability of hickory wood is classed as IV moderate low durability.

Hickory wood working tips and uses

hickory wood has nice colorations and great shock resistanceHickory wood is moderate hard and can be difficult to work by hand. Sharp tools are recommended because the wood tends to blunt cutting edges on both hand tools and machinery. Hickory lumber nails, screws and glues well.

Pre drilling is always advised when screws or nails are used. Hickory wood is used in a wide range of products like

  • vintage baseball clubs
  • golf and hockey sticks
  • turned articles
  • furniture
  • veneer
  • music instruments
  • and more

More hickory tree pictures!