Hickory and Pecan

Scientific Name: Carya ovaya (Hickory) and Carya illinoensis (Pecan)

General Description
The Hickories are an important group within the Eastern hardwood forests.  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.  Hickory is the hardest, heaviest and strongest American wood.  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.

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.  The grain pattern welcomes a full range of medium-to-dark finishes and bleaching treatments.  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 true hickories generally showing higher values than the pecan hickories.  The wood is well known for its very good strength and shock resistance and it also has excellent steam bending properties.  [a) Carya glabra (true hickory) b) Carya illinoensis (pecan)]

Specific Gravity: a) 0.75 (12% M.C.) b) 0.66
Average Weight: a) 833 kg/m3 (12% M.C.) b) 737 kg/m3
Average Volumetric Shrinkage: a) 14.3% (Green to 6% M.C.) b) N/A
Modulus of Elasticity: a) 15,583 MPa b) 11,928 MPa
Hardness: a) N/A b) 8095 N

Availability
Good availability, although somewhat limited in thick stock.

Main Uses
Tool handles, furniture, cabinetry, flooring, paneling, wooden ladders, dowels and sporting goods.