Is Hickory Good Firewood?

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Is hickory good firewood to burn in a wood stove, or use in a fire pit during your next camping trip?


In fact, it's one of the best hardwoods you can choose for a long lasting fire that produces great coals with a pleasant aroma.

The hickory tree is a true workhorse of the North American forest.

It has a distinct look and character - many describe it as the most American hardwood out there, with each species native to some part of our country.

Its strength makes it perfect for a variety of craftsmanship projects, like making cabinets or tables, and its density makes it an ideal firewood choice.

What Is Hickory?

Hickory is one of many species of trees in the genus Carya.

hickory-treeShagbark Hickory Tree

Fifteen of these species are native to North America and can mostly be found along the eastern United States, with a slight reach into southern Quebec and Ontario.

With an impressive tolerance to many different soil types, they still require well-drained earth to grow to its fullest potential.

If placed in an environment with too much shade, it still thrives - but for those looking to enjoy the main crop of hickory trees (the delicious nuts!), full-sun exposure is recommended.

Is Hickory A Hardwood?

Hickory wood is known to be one of the hardest woods available.

It ranks just beneath Brazilian Teak and Ipe in terms of hardness, making it a popular choice for cabinets and furniture that are built to last.

The hardwood is also favored for flooring, as its extreme hardness makes it highly resistant to scratches or dents.

However, this quality can make it difficult to work with at times, as basic tools such as saws or drills require an extra bit pressure in order to cut through the dense grain.

Still, it is an extremely valued resource and provides many homeowners with an excellent source of firewood.

What Can You Do With Hickory?

Hickory wood is one of the hardest hardwoods in existence, and has been used for centuries to make durable products.

Its hardness and strength makes it ideal for construction purposes – furniture, flooring, and tool handles are just a few examples of items made with hickory wood.

Despite its strength, hickory wood is also noted for its wonderful aesthetic appearance – the light color, pronounced grain pattern, and variations in texture add beauty to any piece of furniture or other wooden item crafted from hickory.

hickory-hardwood-flooringHickory Hardwood Flooring

Hickory has been used in furniture making and flooring since the 1800s and it continues to be a popular choice today.

The light-colored wood has a unique grain pattern that adds character and charm to any room.

It is also one of the strongest woods available, which means it can withstand wear and tear better than other types of wood.

Plus, hickory is resistant to water damage and pests, making it a great option for outdoor projects as well.

While hickory is often used in traditional furniture making and flooring, there are many other unique uses for this strong hardwood.

For example, did you know that hickory can be used to make baseball bats?

Its strength makes it perfect for use in sporting equipment like bats and clubs.

Hickory is also often used in tool handles because its strength helps prevent breakage when dealing with tough materials like rock or concrete.

Of course, hickory is widely regarded as one of the best woods to use for firewood.

It's well known for its intense heat output and long-lasting burn.

Not only that, but hickory also produces a sweet aroma which many find particularly pleasing.

Is Hickory Good Firewood To Split Or Season?

To split hickory, use a maul or axe to split the log into pieces no thicker than four inches in diameter.

It can be tough to split but breaking into smaller chunks is essential for clean and even burning, plus it helps the wood dry out faster.


Fiskars X27 Splitting Axe

Season the split pieces of hickory firewood by stacking them outside off of the ground and covering the top portion of the stack with a tarp for eight to twelve months.

I like to use pallets or some scrap 2x4's as runners to elevate the wood off the ground.

This prevents the wood from soaking up ground moisture and it also helps reduce the amount of insects living inside your firewood.

If you're stacking multiple rows of hickory firewood, leave a small space in between each row so the wind can flow around each row of wood.

Hickory takes a while to season, but it's worth it.

If you can, only burn hickory that's been seasoned for around two years.

How To Store Hickory Firewood

It's a good idea to occasionally inspect stored hickory firewood for signs of infestation or rot—both can quickly spread and compromise your entire stockpile if left unchecked.


For example, tiny holes in the bark could indicate beetle larvae eating away at the wood from within; these should be disposed of immediately before they spread further into other logs.

Likewise, look for signs of mold or discoloration which could mean that moisture has seeped into some parts of the pile; remove these logs as soon as possible before they start spreading their spores.

Like we mentioned earlier, it's important not to completely cover your firewood stack with a tarp.

As the moisture from the wood evaporates, it needs a place to escape too.

If the firewood is completely covered, the moisture can not escape and the wood will get moldy.

Also, choose a sunny location to stack and store your firewood.

Shady locations will slow down the seasoning process and will also contribute to mold issues.

Tips For Burning Hickory Firewood

The most obvious benefit of hickory is its smoky aroma that will fill any room where it’s burned.

It also has a relatively high heat output compared to other hardwoods, making it great at keeping your home warm throughout the winter months.

Is hickory good firewood for an overnight burn?

Yes, hickory burns slower than softwoods like pine or spruce so it will last longer in your fireplace or wood stove.

And if you’re looking for an aesthetically pleasing firewood, hickory has a beautiful grain pattern that looks great when lit up in the fireplace.


That said, because hickory has such a high heat output, it can be too intense for some people who are used to burning softer woods like pine or spruce.

Of course, you need to buy the right wood.

The best type of wood for burning is seasoned or kiln-dried wood.

This will ensure that your wood is dry enough to burn efficiently.

Avoid using green or unseasoned wood, as it can create more smoke and soot than seasoned wood.

Is hickory good firewood to start a fire with?

It's not the best.

When it comes time to start the fire, make sure that you have plenty of kindling on hand.

Hickory is notorious for being difficult to light, so having plenty of kindling will help get your fire going quickly and easily.

Once your kindling has caught fire, add some larger pieces of hickory and adjust the airflow so that the flames are high but not too intense.

You want your fire to burn hot, but not too hot, otherwise you could damage your fireplace or other surrounding materials.

Remember that hickory produces a lot of heat—so keep an eye on the temperature!

If it gets too hot in your home, open a window or two or adjust the airflow to reduce the intensity of the flames.


Also, it's important to note that hickory produces far more sparks than other species of wood, making it one of the top choices for campers and other outdoor enthusiasts.

Yet caution should be taken when using this wood indoors, because the sparks could cause damage.

It's a good idea to use a fireplace screen when using hickory wood in an open fireplace.

This will help prevent sparks from flying out of your fireplace and onto nearby combustible material.

Plus, if the wood isn't fully seasoned you'll have an increased risk of creosote buildup since the wet firewood will sizzle and smoke, and not fully combust.

Is Hickory Good Firewood - Overall

The main drawback of hickory is that it can be difficult to find in some areas since it’s not as common as other hardwoods like oak or maple.

Also, this type of firewood tends to cost more than other types due to its relative rarity on the market.

Hickory can be an excellent choice when selecting firewood for your home.

There are of course some downsides, but in general, it's a great choice for most homeowners.

Ultimately, if you’re looking for something unique with an intense heat output, then hickory might just be what you need!