(Carya spp./Juglandaceae) is composed of at
least 16 species native to Asia (4), Central America (4) and North
America (11). The European species became extinct during the Ice
Age. The word carya is from the Greek name for nut. With
a large enough sample, this genus can be split into the True Hickory
Group and the Pecan Group based on microanatomy. See Taras, M.A.
and B.F. Kukachka, 1970, Forest Products Journal 20(4):
58-59. American Hickories are native from the Eastern to Midwestern
United States. Hickory trees can reach a height of 140 ft (43
m), with a diameter of 4 ft (1.2 m).
Hickory has off-white sapwood and reddish brown
heartwood. It is rated very high in both strength and shock resistance,
but is difficult to dry. It is good in most working properties
except in its ability to be shaped and hold nails, but is difficult
to glue. It is generally not resistant to heartwood decay and
is difficult to penetrate with preservatives. It is used for cabinetry,
charcoal, dowels, flooring, fuel wood, furniture, ladder rungs,
plywood, sporting goods, tool handles, and veneer.
Characteristics found in the Hickory (Carya spp.):
- Ring Porous
- Banded Parenchyma
- Simple to scalariform perforation
- I/V pits small to medium (4-12)
- Rays 1-8 seriate & homocellular to heterocellular
- Crystals in axial parenchyma (not common)
Click on each image to view a larger
of True Hickory Group (Carya sp.) showing growth
ring boundary, latewood vessels, earlywood
vessels and banded parenchyma in the latewood.