Commercial Timbers


H. G. Richter and M. J. Dallwitz

Carya spp. (Hickory)

Nomenclature etc. JUGLANDACEAE. C. tomentosa (Lam.) Nutt. - Syn.: Juglans tomentosa Lam., Carya alba (Mill.) K.Koch, Hicoria ovata (Mill.) Britton, Juglans laciniosa Michx.f., Hicoria glabra (Mill.)Brit.; C. ovata (Mill.) K.Koch; C. laciniosa (Michx.f.) Loud.; C. glabra (Mill.) Sweet. Trade and local names: hickory (GB, NL, DE), mockernut hickory, bullnut hickory, hognut hickory, white heart hickory, true hickory (US), Carya tomenteux (FR), hicorytrae (SE). Not protected under CITES regulations.

Tree. Geographic distribution: North America.

General. Growth ring boundaries distinct. Heartwood basically brown to yellow to white or grey, without streaks. Sapwood colour distinct from heartwood colour. Density 0.66–0.76–0.8 g/cm³.

Vessels. Wood ring-porous to semi-ring-porous. Ring of earlywood vessels uniseriate. Vessels in multiples, commonly short (2–3 vessels) radial rows. Average tangential vessel diameter 180–270–450 µm (90–330 fide WAGENFÜHR). Average number of vessels/mm² 2–11. Perforation plates simple. Intervessel pits alternate, average diameter (vertical) 7–10 µm. Vessel-ray pits with distinct borders, different from intervessel pits (smaller than intervessel pits). Helical thickenings absent. Tyloses in vessels present, thinwalled.

Tracheids and fibres. Fibres of medium wall thickness. Average fibre length 920–1300–1700 µm. Fibre pits mainly restricted to radial walls, simple to minutely bordered and distinctly bordered.

Axial parenchyma. Axial parenchyma banded. Axial parenchyma bands marginal (or seemingly marginal), fine, up to three cells wide. Axial parenchyma apotracheal. Apotracheal axial parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates (in short tangential lines). Axial parenchyma fusiform and as strands. Average number of cells per axial parenchyma strand 4–8.

Rays. Rays 15–18 per tangential mm, multiseriate (also if only few), 2–3 cells wide. Rays with multiseriate portions as wide as uniseriate portions absent. Height of large rays commonly 500 to 1000 µm. Rays composed of a single cell type (homocellular), or two or more cell types (heterocellular); homocellular ray cells procumbent. Heterocellular rays with square and upright cells restricted to marginal rows, mostly 1 marginal row of upright or square cells.

Storied structures. Storied structure absent.

Mineral inclusions. Crystals present, prismatic, located in axial parenchyma cells. Crystal-containing axial parenchyma cells not chambered. Crystal containing cells enlarged (idioblasts). Silica not observed.

Illustrations. • Macro images. Carya ovata. Transverse. Tangential. • Transverse section. Carya ovata. • Tangential section. Carya ovata. • Radial section. Carya ovata.

The interactive key allows access to the character list, illustrations, full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting specified attributes, summaries of attributes within groups of taxa, and geographical distribution.

Cite this publication as: ‘Richter, H.G., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2000 onwards. Commercial timbers: descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval. In English, French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish. Version: 25th June 2009.’.