Old Hickory
July 6, 2016, 3:12 pm
Filed under: July 2016 | Tags: , , , , ,


July 6, 2016

This old hickory tree has been standing in my pasture for a very long time. When I came to this place, only her crown could be seen above the brush and thorns. Once I had tackled the dense underbrush, I discovered that this tree had been the corner post for a very old fence. I cleaned the fence post, broken steel rods, wire and a host of trash from around this awesome tree.

Every year she sheds a whole bunch of hickory nuts. The hogs love them. The nuts are hard but very sweet. We get some too,but the hogs seem to know when they are falling and gobble them up quickly. The sows crunch through the hard shells with their powerful jaws, enjoying the sweet nutmeat inside. We have many of these trees on the farm, so the hogs eating these, still leaves plenty for us.

I also strip the shaggy bark of these trees to be used as fuel for the smokehouse. It is nice to add one more layer of comfort on a slab of bacon. What I mean is this; farm raised pork, butchered, cut and cured in our slaughterhouse, tastes just a bit better when smoked with wood grown here….all part of the bounty of our farm.

This wood has gained favor in recent years for its unique beauty in furniture and cabinets. It has many imperfections that look beautiful when opened, sanded and finished. It is a hardwood, stringy in nature. It is very tough and dense. It was used for single trees and evener blanks for the horses to pull equipment with in days of old. It has the highest BTUs of any of our native hardwoods, almost equaling that of coal.

One more awesome thing about a tree such as this is the amount of shade it provides. The ground is cool underneath her branches. A cool breeze will almost always be found whispering near her trunk. I like to sit now an then, pausing to enjoy the shade and listen to the soft woodsong drifting on the breeze.

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