HICKORY, Carya, a genus of trees formerly included among walnuts (juglans). The hickories arc exclusively North American. They are large and beautiful trees, attaining a height of 70 or 80 ft., with pinnate leaves. The timber of all of them is very heavy, strong, and tenacious, but decays speedily when exposed to heat and moisture, and is said to be peculiarly liable to injury from worms. Great quantities of hickory are used to make hoops for casks. It is much used for handspikes. Shafts of carriages, handles of whips and golf-clubs, large screws, etc., are made of it. It is greatly esteemed for fuel. The nuts of some of the species are excellent eating, and much resemble walnuts. C. alba, the SHELL-BARK, or StrAG-nniat hickory, so called from its shaggy outer bark peeling off in long narrow plates, yields the common hickory nut of the northern parts of the United States; also known as the Risky Thomas nut.
It abounds on lake Erie and in some parts of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The trunk is slender. The leaves are often 20 in. long. The nuts are in considerable request, and are sometimes exported. The shell is thin but hard, the kernel sweet. An oil, which is used by the Indians as an article of food, is obtained from it by pounding and boiling. C. sulcata, the THICK SHELL-BARK hickory, a very similar tree, abounding in the fertile valleys of the Alleghany mountains, has a nut with a thick yellowish which is often brought to market in America, under the names of Springfield nut and Gloucester nut. —C. oli'eaformis yields the PACANE or PECAN NUT, sometimes called the Illinois nut.—Other species yield the MocKER NUT, Pm NUT, and BITTER NUT.