Hickory vs. Ash? Which is better? Which is stronger? Which is heavier? All good questions.
Here at Hickory Lacrosse we only use "true" hickory. Not included as a true hickory is pecan hickory. A True hickory is "among the hardest and strongest of woods native to the US. On average, Hickory is denser, stiffer, and harder than oak or maple." As you will see below, it is also much harder (based on the Janka test) and has more flex than ash.
The hardness if a wood is proportional to the spacing between growth rings. See if you can see which is clearly harder.