Help with Pecan trees!

teisa(6)September 9, 2013

I have a question about pecan trees. My parents purchased 2 pecan trees 12-15 yrs ago with hopes of them producing. They have not yet. Someone explained that I may have 2females and need to purchase a male tree. (in seriousness). Well I have looked on websites and they dont seem to be listed in male/female type. Some say they need two different types to produce.

I know my parents tree never has anything that hang down in spring like flowers. So this is why I was told they were probably female. What do I need to purchase to get these ready to bear nuts? And if it is a male tree, how many years till its maturity, another 15? I sure hope not!


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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

Some seedling pecan tree cannot bear any fruit stewart take about 11 years to bear nuts. One thing can do prune tree way back that old way to make seedling tree produce nuts. But if your tree never make catkins that pollen what called flower is on end new growth that flower that turns into nut. LuckyP see this post he give better choice of variety for your area than I can for new planting.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 7:37AM
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Pecans will have both male and female flowers on the same tree - but they're usually not present at the same time, so you need at least two different trees with compatible pollen-shed/nutlet flower-receptivity patterns to get good nut set.

Now...if your parents planted pecan seedlings, you're just now getting to a point where they might be reaching 'sexual maturity'. Just like any other long-lived thing, they have to grow through a juvenile period.
I was mowing a riparian bufferstrip area on the farm yesterday - my kids and I transplanted several hundred 2-yr old northern pecan seedlings into it, back in 2000. In that planting, there is ONE seedling tree that's producing its first crop of nuts this year. 15 years from nut germination to producing is pretty fast for a tree that has the potential to live 100-200 years or more. I was figuring on 'em taking 20+, when I planted them.

Grafted trees will produce nuts generally in about half the time you'd have to wait for a seedling to come into production - and you have the added benefit of knowing what the nuts will be like, disease/pest resistance, etc.
Seedling trees will produce nuts (provided their pollenation and growth requirements are met), but are something of a genetic crapshoot - you wait 15-20 years or more, and you
may have the latest, greatest pecan - or a tiny little thick-shelled thing; you just never know.

That said, I have some grafted hickories and hicans, purchased and planted in 1996 that have yet to produce a nut.

This post was edited by lucky_p on Mon, Sep 9, 13 at 13:07

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 10:53AM
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Thanks Lucky-p! I appreciate the explanation! I'm guessing they just need more time! My father-in-law was wanting us to find him another tree if that was the problem. But with him having 2, I'll tell him to just wait a little longer.
I appreciate the explanation :).

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 6:48AM
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It's quite possible that, even if your trees are seedlings, that they could still have pollination issues once they reach full "sexual maturity." The reason would be the first thing Lucky said. Some pecans shed pollen first and then receive pollen later. Some are the other way around. If both your trees happen to shed late and receive early (or shed early and receive late ) you could wind up with little or no effective pollination.

Here are a couple good links to help understand the differences and figure out what your trees are:

Here is a link that might be useful: catkin appearance and pecan flowering

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 7:45AM
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Here's the other link.

Here is a link that might be useful: flowering type noticeable at bud break

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 7:46AM
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cuz'n f is right.
With just two seedlings, it's certainly possible that pollenization issues could still be a problem. You could end up with two trees that just will not effectively pollenize one another
"Major" pecan, a mainstay cultivar for the northern/midwestern pecan belt and used extensively by USDA in its pecan breeding program, was selected for its production and nut quality, from a 400-acre block of native pecan forest in the Green River delta, in western KY, over 100 years ago. However, grafts of the ortet initially failed to perform as well as the original. Major requires a late to very late pollen source in order to set full crops of nuts. In that large native pecan forest, there were others that accomplished that task - but may not have been worthy of propagating, so until someone found some late/very late pollen producers that were worthy of propagating for nut production, production on Major was not up to its potential.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 8:13AM
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Lucky, in a limited size pecan orchard is there a particular variety or two you'd recommend to pollinate Major?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 10:34AM
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Since you never got a reply to your last question about pollinating Major, I'll toss out a couple suggestions just in case you come back to this thread.

If you have a yard-type situation where you want a really nice tree that also makes some decent nuts, try Posey if you can find one or some graftwood for it. It will be hard to find. For a more productive tree that may not be quite as beautiful (like Posey) but still nice, try Kanza. They are easy to find in most places, but not a guarantee where you are.

Both these suggestions have no disease issues and both will pollinate Major with the added benefit of having the nuts mature at about the same time as Major, which is pretty early. Kanza is a better nut although only mid-sized, but Posey is the better tree, IMO

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 8:45PM
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Missed your question, til scott bumped it back up.
Major is a heavy early pollen producer, but needs a late pollen source to set good crops.
Posey and Green River are good quality nut producers that are essentially mid-season pollen producers that will pollenize many of the pistillate flowers on Major.
Kanza (a Major offspring) is a good late pollen producer, and produces a high quality nut, if fairly small(about the same size as Major). Chetopa is another very late pollen producer that's been recommended, though I'm given to understand that nut quality is not as good as that of Kanza. Hodge is another late pollen producer that may help set crops on Major, and in my experience, nut quality is acceptable.

I have all the above in my plantings here at the farm, but the trees are young - just now coming into bearing. I routinely gather from a 50-yr old planting with Major, Posey, Peruque, Green River, Hodge, and another unidentified grafted variety present, along with some seedling natives (likely understock of grafted varieties that lost the grafted variety).

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 12:43AM
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