The extremely hard hickory wood is widely used to smoke American hams.
All varieties of the hickory tree bear nuts, the most popular being the Pecan, partially due to its thin shell. Hickory nuts have an excellent, rich flavor with a buttery quality due to their high fat content.
The nuts of some species are palatable, while others are bitter and only suitable for animal feed. Shagbark and shellbark hickory, along with pecan, are regarded by some as the finest nut trees.