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DISTINGUISHING HICKORY FROM PECAN
NOTE: I have just (late 2019) discovered that the absolute
statement below that banded parenchyma in ALWAYS present in
the pecan group's earlywood is incorrect. It is USUALLY present.
I am in the process of re-doing this page for proper clarification of it all
(and also will change the comments on my hickory and pecan pages)
Distinguishing Carya spp. in the hickory group from Carya spp. in the pecan group is very simple, but it does require a well-cleaned up end grain viewed at 10X magnification or more.
The method is illustrated in the two slides below, which are from a presentation I gave. The first set of pics is my own and the second set is from the NCSU's LUNA site. All pics are approximately 3/16" x 3/16" end grain cross sections shown here at about 20X.
As you can see in the pics, woods in the hickory group do not have any banded parenchyma in the earliest part of the earlywood whereas woods in the pecan group do have it.