Tree Dictionary: G-I
HEMLOCK, EASTERN (Tsuga canadensis)
Other Names: Hemlock, Canadian hemlock and hemlock spruce.
Range: Grows in eastern United States and Canada.
Appearance: Uneven, frequently spiral grained with medium to coarse texture. Buff to light brown color, heartwood indistinguishable from sapwood.
Physical Properties: Light and soft with low ratings for stiffness and compression strength, shock resistance, and decay resistance.
Working Properties: Works reasonably well with machine or hand tools athough it is brittle. Glues satisfactorily. Pre-drilling recommended to prevent splitting when screwing or nailing. Accepts paint, stains, varnishes, and polishes well.
Uses: Used mainly for building construction, as well as boxes, crates, pallets, casks, shingles, siding, and pulpwood.
HEMLOCK, WESTERN (Tsuga heterophylla)
Other Names: Hemlock and Pacific hemlock.
Range: Grows in western United States and Canada.
Appearance: Straight and even grained with a fine to medium texture. Whitish to light yellowish brown color, heartwood not distinct.
Physical Properties: Light and soft with moderate stiffness, bending strength, compression strength, low shock resistance and decay resistance. Good dimensional stability.
Working Properties: Works easily with machine or hand tools (slightly better than eastern hemlock). Accepts paint, stains, varnishes, and polishes well. Glues quite easily. Pre-drilling recommended for screwing and nailing (but less apt to split than eastern hemlock).
Uses: Used mainly for building construction. Also used for interior and exterior joinery, doors, flooring, vehicle bodywork, turnery, broom handles, boxes, crates, pallets, cooperage, furniture, ladders, plwood, paneling, veneer, and pulpwood.
HICKORY, PECAN (Carya illinoensis)
Other Names: Pecan nut, pecan hickory, sweet pecan, nogal morado, and pecanier.
Range: Grows in United States and Mexico.
Appearance: Tight, generally straight grain with a coarse texture. Pale to reddish brown heartwood and whitish sapwood.
Physical Properties: Very heavy, hard, strong, stiff and shock resistant. Good dimensional stability and low decay resistance.
Working Properties: Turns and otherwise machines well but can be difficult to work with hand tools. Glues, screws, and nails well. Stains satisfactorily and polishes to a nice shiny finish.
Uses: Ideal for applications where strength and elasticity are important. Used for tool handles, farm implements, vehicle parts, baseball bats, flooring, veneers, paneling, long-wearing chair parts (legs, backs, rungs), dowels, poles, ladders, turnery, and interior furniture.
HICKORY, SHAGBARK (Carya ovata)
Other Names: Shellbark hickory, scalybark hickory, white hickory, and red heart hickory.
Range: Grows in United States and Canada.
Appearance: Generally straight grained and coarse textured. Brown to reddish brown heartwood and wide, nearly white sapwood.
Physical Properties: Excellent elasticity, moderate dimensional stability, and low decay resistance.
Working Properties: Machines well but difficult to work with hand tools due to hardness. Nails and screws require pre-drilling to prevent splitting. Polishes to a naturally smooth finish.
Uses: Mainly used for applications requiring strength and toughness: tool handles, skis, golf clubs, wheels, agricultural implements. Other uses include flooring, furniture, ladders, musical instruments, sounding boards, paneling, veneer, fishing rods, dowels, building materials.
Note: One of the hardest, heaviest and strongest woods in the United States.
HONEYLOCUST (Gleditsia triacanthos)
Other Names: Locust, sweet locust, and thorny locust.
Range: Grows in United States and Canada.
Appearance: Straight grained with light red to reddish brown heartwood and yellowish sapwood.
Physical Properties: Heavy, hard, and strong with moderately high shock resistance and stiffness. Very decay resistant heartwood. Stable in use.
Working Properties: Can be difficult to machine. Pre-drilling required for screwing or nailing. Stains and finishes well.
Uses: Used for fenceposts and rails, posts, beams, crossties, rough construction, dowels, concealed furniture parts, decks, chests, chairs, tables, and miscellaneous interior construction.
INCENSE-CEDAR (Libocedrus decurrens)
Other Names: Pencil cedar and California incense-cedar.
Range: Grows in northwestern United States.
Appearance: Straight and even grained with a medium texture. Light brown heartwood, often tinged with red, and nearly white sapwood.
Physical Properties: Light, soft, moderately low in strength, and low in stiffness and shock resistance. Very good decay resistance and stability in service.
Working Properties: Extremely easy to work with machine or hand tools. Turns, cuts, planes, routs, and bores like a champ. Glues, screws, nails, paints and finishes very well.
Uses: Used for pencils, carving, venetian blinds, chests, toys, fenceposts, poles, shingles, railroad ties, woodenware, trim, millwork, novelties, and plywood.