would northern pecans really bear in central NJ?

birdgardner(NJ/ 6b)May 15, 2012

Apparently they bear in Illinois which has colder winters but hotter summers, which I guess is the key to ripening. How about hicans and hickories, do they taste as good?

There is probably no such thing as a dwarf, early-bearing pecan, is there. Full-size, only.

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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

I think they will do fine as long as you make sure to get a variety that doesn't require too long a season. All the nuts you mention taste very good but pecans work the best overall -- more meat in the nuts that is easier to get out, and more reliable you will get some nuts before its off to the nursing home. You are right there is no such thing as a dwarf pecan. If you want a small nut tree grow filberts.

Lucky is the nut expert here, hopefully he will catch this thread. He will know more about which varieties can work there.


    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 9:18AM
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birdgardner(NJ/ 6b)

I've thought about filberts, but the trick is getting something resistant to eastern filbert blight. Rutgers is breeding them but are there any commercially available that are sufficiently resistant not to need spraying?

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 10:15AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

My understanding is the Oregon breeding program has in the last few years produced some blight immune cultivars. Jefferson, Yamhill, and Gamma are three that I am growing. I have not had them long enough to confirm the immunity.


    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 10:52AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Oops I forgot I am not growing Gamma, but I am grown Santiam and Theta.


    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 10:55AM
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Yes, birdgardener, they'll do fine in NJ.
I have a friendly fellow nut enthusiast who has a large collection of northern pecans, hickories, hicans, Persian/Carpathian walnuts, and various fruits, all growing and producing in NJ.

There are a few pecan cultivars that make a smaller tree than the typical pecan, but off the top of my head, I can't recall which ones - or whether they're selections that will perform well in zones 6 & colder. Regardless, pecans are, for the most part, non-self-pollenizing, so you need at least two selections, with compatible pollen shed/nutlet flower receptivity patterns in order to get reasonable nut crops.

If you can find 'Chetopa' shellbark hickory, it is a genetic dwarf.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 2:40PM
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birdgardner(NJ/ 6b)

Nolin Nursery "sometimes" has Chetopa available, and there is a reference to dwarf hickories in a 2005 Dave's Garden thread that won't open for me even when I sign in, mentioning Chetopa and Casey as dwarfs, but I can't find Casey hickory on any other search.

England's Nursery no longer carries hickories, it looks like.

Without Casey I'd have to go with a full-size pollinator. Not that I live near wild hickories, but does the pollen parent affect the taste of the nut?

If I ever make the move out to the country, I'll plant shagbark hickories and blight-resistant chestnuts for my grandchildren. In the meanwhile, maybe the blight-resistant, hopefully immune filberts. Maybe Rutgers wants backyard gardeners to do some test plantings.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 5:21PM
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I'd forgotten about Casey, reputed to be another genetic dwarf.
To my knowledge, pollen parent has no effect on nut flavor produced by a specific tree. Seedlings grown from a hybrid of, say pecan and bitternut hickory may produce nuts with undesirable astringency, like the bitternut parent, but pecan or hickory flavor should be unaffected by whatever pollenized them.

If you had one or more neighbors of like minds, you could each plant one slection to serve as a pollenizer for one another's trees, if space is a limiting factor. Just a thought.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 2:17AM
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