White Hickory

(Carya tomentosa) A very tough timber, used for skis and other sports equipment, such as lacrosse sticks, a game invented by the American Indians (Edlin). This is the best wood for its resistance to impact, so it is ideal for the handles of hammers, axes, picks, etc. Hickory bark has long been known as a dye. The colour is yellow, if set with alum (R B Browne), and the twigs and leaves give a tan colour, with alum (S M Robertson).

Carolina wives used to hold straying husbands by driving a hickory stub into the doorpost. Hickory is very slow to rot, and while the peg is sound, husbands remain faithful (M Baker. 1977). It is said in Alabama that a toothbrush made out of a hickory twig will stop the teeth from falling out (R B Browne). Another prescription from Alabama is to "take the ashes from burnt hickory wood, put them in water, and drink it for fever. Make it very weak, as it will eat the stomach" (R B Browne).

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