Pecans are ready

christie_sw_mo(Z6)October 28, 2013

I noticed some open hulls yesterday on one of our pecan trees and of course no nuts on the ground below because the critters don't let them lie there for any time at all. I collected the ones I could reach without a ladder and have been breaking off the hulls this morning. They seem a little larger than normal this year so maybe the trees enjoyed our rainy summer.
I came across relatively few with stuck tight hulls this time. I've done a little research in the past to see what causes that and still not sure whether it's a pest, disease or nutrient deficiency. The nuts are not fully formed in the ones that don't separate from their hulls easily.

I was ready to go out with a ladder and rake to collect some more this morning but it's sprinkling here and although I haven't heard any thunder, I decided against holding a metal rake up in the air while standing on a metal ladder under a tree just in case.

I confess I still haven't picked up our black walnuts. I like pecans a lot better.

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OMG, don't be standing out there holding up a metal rake! You'd never have to pay for another perm. Heh.

I don't have any idea about why the hulls don't release the nut, nature's way of thinning out, maybe? I'm sure someone will know and I'll be interested in seeing what they say.

Hey don't throw away those pecan shells, they make great mulch. Some people actually use them in their smoker instead of the limbs of the tree.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 1:02PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

Christie you were smart to plant pecans. I think they are an attractive tree and I love pecans even small ones. There is a fellow on the OK forum who grows pecans. He has different soil and a different climate and I don't agree with his politics but I'll bet he knows anything you need to know about pecans.

Black walnuts are a nuisance to me. I trip on them and I can't mow until I pick them up.

Why don't you ask your question on this thread. Scott is the one who would know.

Here is a link that might be useful: OK forum

This post was edited by helenh on Mon, Oct 28, 13 at 18:57

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 4:17PM
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I love black walnuts even though they are hard to shell. I wish there was a good way to make sure all the pieces of shell were separated from the nutmeats. They look so much alike. My favorite way to use them is in pumpkin & raisin muffins, but it's not fun to bite down on a piece of shell. Maybe if the shell was magnetic or something.....

I don't have a tree and wouldn't plant one here, but there is one in the park behind the house where we used to live. I would pick them up every year when we lived there, otherwise the kids that came to the park would fill their pockets and pelt each other with them.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 4:45PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

They are very messy trees to have in your yard. Raining caterpillar poo is one of their attributes.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 8:04PM
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And my only reason (up to getting this information) for not having them out here was because they are so toxic to anything I might try to grow around them.

Somebody Hubs knows gave him two little pecan trees that he'd had on his patio all summer. One was in a pot of soil, the other was just in a jar of water. Both had green leaves on them. We planted them out on what we call "The North Fourth", which we are gradually improving from wasteland weed prairie to something more useful and shady. The man said they were papershell. I prefer the flavor of native but Hubs doesn't like the fact that they're small and hard to shell. So if they survive, he'll be happy, but even under the best of conditions we probably won't get anything off them for 5 or 6 years.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 8:10AM
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You probably won't get nuts from those seedlings for 15 years or more. 5-6 years to bearing is quick even for a grafted tree; seedlings have to grow through their juvenile period - may take 20+ years to bearing.
My kids and I planted about 400 2-yr old northern pecan seedlings in a CRP bufferstrip planting here on the farm, back in 2000. Most have grown well, once they got big enough that the deer didn't demolish them. They're real trees now - some over 20 ft tall. Noticed earlier this fall that ONE of them is producing nuts this year.

Christie, fungal diseases, like scab and anthracnose, are the principal cause of 'stick-tights'. Check out Dr. Bill Reid's northern pecan blog (he's the KS/MO pecan specialist) - lots of good info on pecans for our area.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 8:33PM
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