Anybody have a favorite source for buying pecan trees?
This is a question for Scott, our resident pecan expert and I'm sure he'll respond when he sees this thread.
My favorite is Womack Nursery in DeLeon, Texas, which is a long-time, well-established, highly reputable family-owned business that focuses on providing the best possible nursery stock. I'll link their website below. Even if you don't order from them because of what shipping might cost, you still could learn a bit from their descriptions of the various varieties they offer.
I don't know which part of Oklahoma you're in, but the varieties that would perform well in hotter, drier areas significantly west of I-35 might not be the same ones that would perform well in generally moister areas with better soil east of I35. So, if you want variety recommendations, you might want to give us a general idea of which part of the state you're in. You don't have to give your town or county if you don't want to, but some sort of clue like northeastern Oklahoma, western Oklahoma, central Oklahoma, etc.
Here is a link that might be useful: Womack Nursery
Thanks Dawn, I'm north of Tulsa. I've drooled over the varieties at Womacks but wasn't sure that a tree grown that far south would fare well this far north? Ok, I'm not that far north, but hopefully you know what I mean?
The rootstock in this case is just as important as the variety. If you don't get a tree with a "cold-hardy" rootstock then you have a decent chance of the tree dying when the temp gets down below zero at your location. The reason is that most rootstocks are chosen based on what grows fast and produces the biggest tree in the shortest time-frame, which is not what usually works best up here in the colder areas of the pecan range.
The two cold-hardy rootstocks commonly used here are seeds from either Giles or Peruque. Anything Womack's labels as "cold-hardy" or "northern rootstock" will work.
As far as the cultivar (top part of the tree) goes, I have a personal favorite for this area, but everyone has their own opinion. You need to get a variety that ripens at least 10 to 15 days before Stuart (the baseline for comparisons) so that you don't lose crops to early freezes. In my opinion, as long as you have good and deep soil, Kanza should be your main choice, and then pick a pollinator from among Pawnee, Major, or Peruque. Major and Peruque are the best trees (strong, heealthy), but Pawnee is a large, thin-shelled nut. All will do well this far north. I don't have a single bad thing to say about Kanza, or a bad thing to say about Womacks.
Good luck. Pecans are fun to grow, yummy, and healthy.
I love pecans. I'm looking for 4-6 trees. I've been churning over the OSU varieties, leaning towards at least Pawnee and Kanza, maybe a couple of others, depending on availability.
So is there nowhere local, in Oklahoma anyway, to buy them? Nothing against Womacks, they have some awesome stuff there. I'd just rather spend my $$s locally if possible.
I don't have "good and deep soil", I don't think there is any soil here, just clay. Heavy black gumbo clay. I'm hoping that mixing in lots of compost will help.
It's hard to say if the soil will work without seeing it and/or trying it. You can add nutrients and adjust some things, but what you can't add later is enough water-holding soil to keep the tree alive, healthy, and productive after it gets big. I have a lot of 12ft trees around my house that have only a foot of soil, but I already have to water them or they drop their leaves in August. These trees are 6 years old and grew on their own. The key is how deep the water-holding soil is.
I like Womack's because they come to our Oklahoma Pecan Growers Association meetings every year, and are great people. Other than planting native, cold-hardy trees and then grafting them over to cultivars later, the only option that I know has cold-hardy rootstock is to get them from Womacks (but I haven't searched lately). I started all mine from local seed, but everyone else I know uses Womacks.
Actually now that I think of it, the large Park Hill (Tenkiller) area grower that supplies some large box stores has recently got into more northern area pecan varieties, so they may be an option.
What scares me so much about planting southern rootstock is that you put in 7 years of work getting them going and just starting to produce a few nuts and then we have an early freeze like 2000 or it gets down to 5 below and they all die.
I will keep my eyes and ears open for anyone offering northern rootstock.
The OK Pecan Growers' Association has a newsletter that comes out quarterly and they've got a classified section. I've seen trees for sale there before, but I don't know how often they come up. Their website is below.
Here is a link that might be useful: Oklahoma Pecan Growers' Association
This thread got me to reminiscing about my OSU extension days back in the 80's. We recommended (under the advise of Cat Taylor) 'Mohawk' and 'Maramec' Both are now not recommended at all. I have never even heard of Kansza. Sounds like a good variety, Things have really changed.
Here is a link that might be useful: Pecan Blog
Mohawk was a lesson that was hard to learn. The pecans on older trees just can't mature correctly because the trees set such a large crop and the nuts are so big. The bright side is that it likely was a driver for research into crop thinnning that has been very useful across the south and southeast.
I have a few Mohawks and they just may be the perfect pecan when the tree is young. Maramec is still grown some here, but not other states much. Pawnee and Kanza have replaced it. Lakota is the newest one that may make it onto the recommended list soon.
Thanks for the link to that blog.
I am from LA and I purchased by potted pecan trees online from Plant me green.com They shipped them to me in a few days, somewhere out of north FL. I purchased 2 earlier in the year and recently ordered 2 more 5 gal. potted pecans.
I've got a Pawnee and a Kiowa coming after the first of the year from Bob Wells in Texas. Watchdog has them with as good a rating as Womacks or Bass. They were very nice people to deal with and their shipping charges were half what the others were. The only complaint I have with them is their website. It does'nt give the information that Bass or Womacks does so as I researched what variety might be best for my area I had to switch back and forth between Bass or Womacks to read what they had to say about a certain variety because Bob Wells website was woefully lacking in that area. But still, their prices and shipping were way better and there's that watchdog thing.