The hickory tree, a close relative of pecans, is another important source of food for wildlife in the forest. While the nut is typically too bitter for people, many animals love the nuts, including black bears, squirrels, and many other mammals and birds. As early settlers introduced pigs, they noticed that the pigs loved the nuts too, leading to one of it’s common names – the Pignut Hickory. The wood is very strong was often used for tool handles, ladders and wheels. Growing up, one of my favorite uses for hickory nuts was racing. Competitive hickory nut racing in small streams was a popular pastime that could go on for hours.
This tree is now the flooring of our tiny house, and the wood is absolutely stunning. The variations in the wood are a lovely contrast to the poplar walls. According to our instructors, we will not be putting a polyurethane finish on the floors, but rather an oil, which leaves the wood looking more natural, and less glossy. I am excited to see it once it is finished!