Hickory Hardwood Flooring

wood-sample-hickory-largeHickory grows in the Eastern half United States, and its main commercial areas are in the central and southern states. Tree height ranges from 60 to 120 feet. Hickories grow slowly and it is not unusual for a tree to take 200 years to mature.

The name "Hickory" is an English contraction of the Native American "powcohicora." In Eastern North America, it survived the catastrophic changes of the Glacial Epoch some 50 million years ago. It is therefore the first strictly American hardwood species. Westward trekking pioneers made hickory a prerequisite for their wagon wheels. Later, the Wright Brothers whittled hickory for their "flying contraption." Hickory sawdust and chips are used to flavor meat by smoking. Native Americans, particularly in the Northeast, used hickory for their bows. Andrew Jackson, seventh president of the U.S., was nicknamed "Old Hickory" based on the toughness of the hickory tree.

The hickories are an important group within the Eastern hardwood forests. Botanically they are split into two groups; the true hickories, and the pecan hickories (fruit bearing). The wood is virtually the same for both and is usually sold together. Hickory is the hardest, heaviest and strongest American wood. The sapwood of hickory is white, tinged with inconspicuous fine brown lines while the heartwood is pale to reddish brown. Both are coarse-textured and the grain is fine, usually straight but can be wavy or irregular.

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