Hickory is perhaps best known for its pivotal role in “the great American pasttime,” as it remains the primary wood used in the production of baseball bats. It is also widely used as tool handles. Its heartwood is usually a light to medium brown, often with a reddish hue. Its sap is easily discernible, with a light cream to light yellow coloration. Although it is a non-durable wood, it is renowned for its toughness; it’s considered to be among the strongest of hardwoods indigenous to the US.
Despite being a prediminantly straight-grained wood (though sometimes wavy), Hickory is considered to be difficult to work. It has a medium texture, with open, medium-sized pores.
Sustainability: Not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Common Uses: Baseball bats, handles, ladders, flooring, utility wood.
Comments: The reason Hickory remains the preferred choice of companies like “Louisville Slugger” is due not only to its density and toughness, but also its excellent shock resistance. Early Americans used the wood for the spokes in their horse wagons.
It also has an historical record of use as a utility wood. When burned, Hickory emits high thermal energy levels — making it the preferred fuel wood for wood burning stoves, dating back well over 100 years.