Hickory trees average in height from 60 to 120 feet and grow in ranges through much of the eastern United States. Hickory makes up 2% of the commercially available hardwoods in the United States. With their slow rate of growth, it is not unusual for a tree to take 200 years to mature. Four of the 18 species have commercial value. Hickory’s sapwood is white tinged with brown, while its heartwood is pale to reddish brown.


Hickory is exceptionally heavy, hard and strong with a coarse texture and straight grain. It can be difficult to machine and has a moderate blunting effect on tools. Hickory has excellent bending properties and accepts stains and finishes very well.

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Due to its exceptional shock resistance, hickory is used for tool handles, such as hammers, picks and axes, as well as sporting goods equipment. It is also quite popular for cabinets and millwork.

Other Uses

Hickory is used extensively to smoke and cure meat. It has a firm place in the history of  the United States. Native Americans, particularly in the Northeast, used hickory for their bows.

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