Zone 5 Pecan Trees (smaller ones)

Schlemoc(5)June 28, 2012

Hi,

I have some room that I would like to put some pecan trees in since I absolutely love pecan pie. I'd love nothing more than to have my own supply available of them. I did some research and most varieties are in a higher zone than I am. Additionally, I noticed that most of them reach over 100' in height. I wish I had the property for such a tree, let alone a second one to pollinate with.

Any ideas or suggestions around this? I was thinking planting two a distance apart to try to keep them smaller, but even then I'm not sure. Anyone here growing pecans?

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denninmi(8a)

Oikos Tree Crops in Kalamazoo, MI has several "northern" pecans from various wild sources at the extreme edge of the native range. These will just be young seelings, though, 1-2 feet tall. Perhaps Grimo Nut Nursery in Ontario (ships to US I believe) or Nolin River in KY might have some varieties in larger sizes.

I'm dabbling, but it will be a number of years before my little starts ever yield a pecan.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 3:29PM
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lucky_p

Got any neighbors who'd be interested in a nice shade tree that produces tasty nuts?
If you could get one, two, three, or more interested, you could all plant different selections that have compatible pollen-shed/nutlet receptivity patters to help ensure that you all get good nut crops.
There are numerous pecan selections that are reliably productive in zone 5 settings. I'll echo the recommendations for NRTN and Grimo. Some of the varieties offered by Stark Bros(grown by Forrest Keeling Nursery) will probably do OK in zone 5; Peruque, Starking Hardy Giant, Colby, Kanza would possibly be worth trying.

Ultimately most pecans do become very large trees - but they also have potential lifespans in the 200+ year range.
Seedling pecans will tend toward a more upright growth pattern for a number of years, whereas grafted selections will be more likely to assume a more spreading habit, early on. Additionally, grafted selections will begin bearing in a much shorter timeframe(some in 3-5 years, most by 10) than seedlings which may well require 10-20 years(or more) to reach production age - and, nut characteristics will be a 'known entity' for the grafted selections.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 5:54PM
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elffriend(zone 5 ON)

Grimo has hardy pecan seedlings in the 3' to 6' range. They do ship to the U.S. but they only ship in the spring. You can order now for shipping next year.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 6:15PM
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Schlemoc(5)

Sadly, none of my neighbors are very open to having a tree in their yard. A pecan tree of that size would take up the entire front yard. If I ever get the chance to buy the neighbor's property, then it won't be an issue.

I looked at both of those mentioned and really like the Nolin River Nut Tree Nursery. I plan on reaching out to them to discuss which ones would be best to plant. If I can keep them smaller, then it will be ideal. I have a large tree in the front yard already that I can plant one in front of, then cut the old one down when it comes to size.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 9:45AM
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lucky_p

Be aware that you need at least two different varieties, with complementary pollen shed/nutlet receptivity periods in order to get nut crops. Pecans are mostly non-self-fertile, and unless there are other pecans(or possibly hickories) in the neighborhood, you're unlikely to get decent crops of nuts with just one tree.

There may be some varieties that tend to make a 'smaller' tree than others - John or Ernie may be able to point you toward those.

It would take a bit of work - and probably some frustration along the way, but you could plant a seedling pecan, get it established and growing vigorously, then graft multiple varieties into the tree. I'm topworking some 12-15 yr old pecans on the farm here, but not necessarily making 'multi-variety' trees out of them.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 10:34AM
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Schlemoc(5)

I just spoke to John from NRNTY in regards to what his thoughts were. He strongly suggested that I plant the Lucas and Fisher variety to get the best crop for my goals. I am going to take a look at the yard and see if I can determine a nice layout. He did mention that the Lucas grows considerably slower than the Fisher. Very insightful guy who provided good advice.

Thanks for the recommendation!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 12:37PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

I also don't have much room and planted two pecans in one hole. The tree will grow out as a "Y". There are nice-looking trees that have naturally grown this way, and its an easy way to get a pollinating pair in limited space.

Scott

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 1:30PM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

+1 on scout message.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 2:11PM
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Schlemoc(5)

How close should I plant them in the hole so they grow properly? Won't they split once they hit a certain size?

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 2:30PM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

I use 4 feet so spreading would not be so Y esh They want meet and push for many years.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2012 at 2:42PM
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