Lumber Manager and Chairman of the Board
Species of the month.... Pecan
Characteristics... Color: The heartwood is a soft mid-toned brown to pinkish red, tinged with brown, and the sapwood is a light cream. The tight grain is generally straight but can be wavy with a medium to course texture. The various species of hickory and pecan are very closely related and there is some confusion between them; many pecans are referred to as hickories.
The two groups are distinguished by their microanatomy: pecan hickories have a parenchyma band in their earlywood and “true” hickories do not. True hickory is typically heavier than pecan and is considered to be slightly higher in quality.
Properties... Pecan wood has high crushing and bending strength, high stiffness, and very high shock resistance. It is excellent for steam-bending. It is good for uses where elasticity and strength are important. Being hard, it has a moderate to severe blunting effect on cutting edges. It is difficult to work by hand, but machines and turns well. Pre-boring is advisable for nails and screws to avoid splitting, but it does hold nails well.
Gluing is satisfactory. It sands, polishes, and stains well.
Seasoning... Pecan kiln-dries well and air-dries rapidly. Shrinkage is high, but it generally seasons quickly with a little degrade. However, there can be a problem with warping and twisting when air dried. It exhibits small movement in service.
Durability... It is non-durable with slight resistance to heartwood decay and is extremely resistant to preservative treatment.
Origin... Midwest to eastern USA and Mexico.
Common uses... Furniture, chair making, tool handles, turnery, sports goods such as baseball bats and archery equipment, ladder rungs, flooring, decorative veneer and plywood. It is also used for smoking meats, for charcoal, and the pecan tree is a source of edible nuts.
Availability... We have four slabs in stock at the Brownwood location. The slabs are about 6 feet long, 2 1/2 feet wide and 1 1/2 inches thick with a natural edge. The slabs are also spaulted. The cost is $50 a slab.