AKA: Hickory, shagbark hickory, bitternut hickory, water hickory, nutmeg hickory. The National Hardwood Lumber Association grading rule book states: “A NHLA inspector will not make a distinction in the specie between Hickory and Pecan”. Technically there are 16 species of Carya in North America with 4 main hickory species and 4 main pecan species.
What: Trees are small and stunted, often found in the shade of larger trees. They are typically 30-40 years old with diameters less than 6 inches.
Where: Northeastern United States southwest to Mexico
Properties: Has excellent steam bending properties. Is extremely durable and won’t ding or dent with use (Janka 1820). The interestingly patterned heartwood is pale reddish-brown in color with occasional dark, pecky streaks. Sapwood is creamy white with pink tones. Pecan grain is open pored, close grained, occasionally wavy and irregular.
Workability: Pecan is very heavy, strong, and tough. It is somewhat difficult to machine. Pecan stains well and looses its color variations with darker stains.
Uses: Furniture, cabinetry, athletic goods, flooring, lawn furniture, and agricultural implements, tool handles like hammers, picks, and axes