Hickory Firewood

There are a lot of people who agree that hickory firewood is one of the best there is for burning. Hickory is even hotter burning than oak, maple and other popular hardwoods.

There are several types of hickory, including, shagbark, pignut, bitternut, shellbark, and mockernut. Most agree that all types of hickory are good for firewood. Maybe someone can post their experience with the different types in the comment section below.

Hickory wood is a heavy and dense hardwood. It dries fairly quickly since the dense wood doesn’t hold a lot of  moisture. It can be tough to split, but not always beyond splitting by hand.

Although many people love burning hickory, there are some who prefer other woods over hickory just because hickory firewood can be more difficult to process. Hickory is harder to saw and split than a lot of other hardwoods like oak. Hickory may outperform oak in a wood stove, but for some, not well enough to justify the work. Another disadvantage of hickory firewood is that bugs really like it. It is not uncommon for a hickory woodpile to have a lot of sawdust, or bugdust from insects boring into it.

Hickory is also well known for its smoke flavor for smoking, and BBQ. It is also the wood of choice for tool handles, axes, shovels, etc. It is used for handles because it is very durable and has an exceptionable ability to absorb shock.

Hickory nuts are edible and consumed by people and by wildlife.

Hickory Firewood BTU

Post your comments about hickory firewood below.


11 thoughts on “Hickory Firewood”

  1. I will throw my 2cents in on different hickory species. I cut mostly hickory as firewood . I have 1500acres of river bottom forest ful of many species of hickory as well as red oak , swamp chestnut and overcup oak ,beech and blue beech , mullberry , persimmon and locust. These are my ffavorite go to firewood. My favorite hickory is shagbark (or shellbark) . They tend to dry quickest of all the hickory around my area and I think the best burning too. The hardest and toughest of the hickory according to me is pignut . The most common around my area is the bitternut hickory. Its the longest drying of the hickory group. A good tip is if you cut them with catkins then the bark will peel away easily and the wood will dry much quicker. I hope this helps.

  2. Thanks for the comment hickory man. It’s great to get some good information about the different types of hickory from someone with some experience. And I think most of us will be envious of your 1500 acres of river bottom forest.

  3. While I agree Hickory is a good wood for fire wood I wasn’t as pleased as all the hype I heard b4 I started using it. I live in S.W. Iowa.
    One main thing: I rots fast if laying on the ground in any form, or out in the rain, after splitting. I haven’t found it any hotter than white oak, and it certainly can’t outlast oak in dampness for storage. That said, I still grab any dead or dying hickory when scouting for firewood in these hills. It is one of my top 3 favorites here.

  4. Shagbark Hickory IMO is the best of the best WHEN SEASONED CORRECTLY . It outperforms all the other hickorys and hardwoods even including Osage despite most ratings to my experience. The downside is that it has a short window of peak seasoning. Unlike oak and others, once it hits the ground the clock is ticking. I’ve cut into red oak that has been on the ground for 20 years and found great heat value in it after an outter shell of rot. If Hickory has been on the ground for a single year it’s almost not worth getting, it turns papery and spongy fast. But if you can get it fresh, split and stacked under cover for 6 mos to a year there’s nothing better in the east and it’s so plentiful where I live (western Virginia) it’s a foundation wood for me. Also like you wrote it’s a handy wood to have around, makes great bow staves, stakes, handles and walking sticks. I’ll take a 2 or so inch diameter branch, chisel an end and drive it in the ground with a sledge hammer to shore up the end of a pile, it’s tough as steel, you just can’t do that with the other Hickorys

  5. I have a firewood business on Los Angeles, anyway I can get wholesale hickory would out here?

  6. Bonno,

    SW Iowa and Shagbark!! Tell me more, I am in the same area and always looking for it.


  7. Still loving me some hickory !!! Got me a new wood splitter and got a full cord of shagbark,pignut and beech cut this week ready to season all summer here in west Tennessee.

  8. I collect the bark from shagbark hickory off the ground while walking my 150 acres in northeast ohio and I save all the bark from the trees I harvest to use for kindling. I never have a problem starting a new fire or restarting my stove in the morning. Shagbark bark starts easily and actually leaves coals. It can also be used on the grill for smoking

  9. I agree with Randy. I have 5 wooded acres in ohio, all hard woods, primarily shagbark hickory, the the bark of the shagbark makes the best kindling. I gather it all year and store it for winter. I split the wood by hand and it is work but worth it. Ive found the colder it is outside the easier it splits

  10. I just built a Holz hausen of a cords of pure pignut hickory here in CT. Power. Implant took down tons of trees and I fe Bird it and cut and spa it it. The first surprise was how easily it split when green. Inside a short handled fiskers mall and it split in 1-2 sacks. Once in half I could carry these huge pieces out of the woods and split them further at home. It’s gorgeous wood I’m planning on for next fall 2018.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *