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Is Hickory Good Firewood?

By Lawrence Macmillan June 09, 2022

We all have fond memories of camping at least once in our childhood, right? Back then, it seemed so simple.

Someone would build a fire and find all of the best wood to keep it burning bright through the night.

Is Hickory Good Firewood?

However, without good firewood, your fire won’t last nearly as long and will die out quicker than you could imagine.

Of course, there are things we can use to help the firewood to do its job properly, but who wants to be spending loads of money on additional fuel when they could just find the perfect firewood straight away?

Well, there are lots of different types of wood out there, with Hickory being one of the more well-known options.

Is Hickory good firewood though? Follow the rest of our guide to find the answer. After all, a fire is only as good as its foundations.

Details About Hickory Wood

The best way to find out if this is a suitable option for firewood is to understand it in greater detail. Recognizing Hickory is very important when looking for good firewood, so we’ll have a look at some of the wood’s distinguishable features here.

Seasoning Time

Unlike a lot of different varieties of wood, Hickory is seen all year round and will allow you to have a good chance of finding some in any season.

Of course, a lot of trees will have their ups and downs when it comes to their best season. Hickory, however, is great for the majority of the year.

Resin And Sap Content

As many people know, having lots of sap present can affect the wood when trying to use it as firewood.

You’ll be happy to know that Hickory wood has a low amount of sap and resin present, so these features are unlikely to affect the efficiency of the wood when using it to fuel a fire.

Splitting Difficulty

Good firewood will always stay strong and allow the fire to consume the material.

If the wood has a tendency to split and fall apart, it’s bound to have a negative impact on the effectiveness of the fire spread.

Hickory has a tendency to be difficult to split, which is great for those who want to have a long-burning fire.

Different Types Of Hickory Wood

Is Hickory Good Firewood

Typically, Hickory is very heavily-grained and has a dense nature.

Because of these characteristics, it is known as a hardwood, however, there are a lot of different varieties to choose from.

The wood needs to be seasoned at least once a year or the wood won’t burn efficiently enough for you to consider using it as good firewood.

Different types of Hickory wood include:

  • Pignut
  • Mockernut
  • Shagbark
  • Bitternut
  • Shellbark

British Thermal Units

Although these different types of Hickory wood have a lot of similarities in their features and characteristics, they have varying BTUs per type.

BTU stands for British Thermal Unit and will determine how hot they need to be to burn thoroughly and efficiently.

For example, shagbark has more BTUs per cord than bitternut, with shagbark coming in at 27.7 million BTUs.

Bitternut only has 26.5 million BTUs. it is thought that Hickory has the second-highest heat output out of different types of firewood.

The most noticeable difference between them is that Hickory has a different appearance.

Is Hickory Good Firewood?

It is recommended by a lot of different sources that Hickory is one of the best firewoods out there and will provide a good option for you when looking to keep your fire burning bright.

Similar to black locust, Hickory can burn for hours at a time, with one log of the wood burning for around 4 hours at one time.

With such a high heat return, Hickory wood lasts for a much longer amount of time than other types of firewood and is definitely more suitable.

When using thick and strong variations of Hickory wood, you’re bound to get the best results and ensure that you have the warmest fire possible.

Hickory Seasoning - How Long Does It Take?

Although Hickory is one of the best woods to burn and will get you some of the best results, it can take a long time to season.

In fact, this particular type of wood has one of the most prolonged processes when it comes to seasoning, usually taking around 12 months to complete.

However, it has been known to take a lot longer than 12 months in certain instances.

When green, Hickory takes a longer amount of time to ignite and will have a very smoky result.

This is because Hickory has a moisture level of 80% when green, with drier wood taking much less time to ignite.

After seasoning, Hickory will only have a moisture level of around 20%, meaning that it ignites a lot quicker.

In drier climates, you should be able to season your Hickory wood in under 12 months however, you’re usually expecting to season your wood for around 2 years for the best results.

Waiting a longer amount of time and having patience will allow you to have a much more efficient form of Hickory wood.

Smoke Output

One thing that lots of people don’t want is a lot of smoke surrounding their camps, fireplaces, or whatever they choose as the home for their next fire.

Hickory wood has a very low smoke output when seasoned, with a high amount of smoke when green.

Seasoning will always help to keep your smoke levels to a minimum and your ignition time speedy.

Conclusion

Ultimately, Hickory wood is one of the best options for firewood and should always be at the top of the list when looking for another form of firewood to burn.

With high efficiency, low smoke, and a speedy ignition time, this form of wood should always be considered when looking for a reliable form of firewood.

Hopefully, our guide has helped to provide you with the knowledge of knowing whether to use Hickory wood or not. We also hope that you’ll use it and see for yourself!


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