The heartwood of hickory is brown or red-brown. The sapwood is pale in color. The grain of the wood is usually straight, which means it runs parallel to the axis of the tree, but it can also be wavy or irregular. The texture of the wood is coarse, and it weighs about 50 pounds per cubic foot.
Hickory is prized for being one of the toughest and hardest woods. It can withstand 1,880 pounds of force on the Janka hardness scale.
Hickory is native to the eastern United States and Canada. It's used to make the handles of hammers, picks, axes and other carpentry and forestry equipment. It's also used to make various sporting equipment, like the lamination for tennis racquets, lacrosse sticks and baseball bats. Hickory is also good for veneers and plywood and makes excellent furniture.
Because it is so hard, woodworkers sometimes find hickory difficult to work with, and the wood has been known to blunt tools. It's difficult to glue, and holes need to be pre-bored for nails, screws and other fasteners. If the wood has an irregular grain, it's best to plane it at an angle. However, the wood responds well to staining and polishing.