I have no experience with hickory trees but just came across a mention of this very thing in "My Side of the Mountain," which I'm reading to my kids:
They [hickories] were gold trees to me. I would have hickory nuts in the fall. I could also make salt from hickory limbs. I cut off one and chopped it into bits and scraps. I stuck them in my sweater.
Your question makes me wonder too if hickory trees can help desalinate soil.