Pecan nuts - where on branch in relation to tassels?

maryleek_AR(z7)April 30, 2005

We have a pecan tree that has never produced a pecan. It has been planted about six years and was probably two or three years old when purchased. It has many tassels this year and has been fed, etc., as recommended by the nursery where we purchased it.

IF it does produce a pecan, where on the branch would it grow in relation to the tassels? I've never actually seen a pecan on a tree in an early stage of development so don't know where to watch for the little nuts on the tree. We only have the one tree, purchased and planted for my 91 year young dad for his birthday some years ago. God love him, he didn't live to see it develop into the handsome tree it is today but he enjoyed the process while he could. I don't even know the variety, as it was in the fall when I went looking for it and this plant had been damaged above the root graft and no one wanted to purchase it. The nursery had potted it up and there it sat. It had lost it's tag so the owner wasn't certain of the variety, only that it would be one of the ones with an Indian name. I just wanted a pecan tree with some size on it, for my dad. So, I can't look up anything about this particular variety as I don't know what it is. It's very healthy now, beautifully shaped and getting quite large. There are pecan trees in the neighborhood, so I'm hoping it will be pollinated. I suppose there is a possibility it will not "like" the other pecan trees and that will be ok too. It served the purpose of providing my dad with a lot of joy. I'm just curious to see if it will produce a pecan and don't know where to watch for the little nuts.

So sorry to go on but I'm sure you probably wonder why I'd be asking about a tree when I should know about it, based on having purchased and planted it. Just wanted to explain why I don't know much about it and pecans in general. I've searched on line, but photo's of developing pecans seem to be scarce.

My thanks for any information you might be able to share.


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vernvan(7 Atlanta, GA)

The nutlets (female) form on the end of the terminal buds. The male flowers that you have been calling tassels form at the base of the terminal bud and are already visible as separate buds by the time the pecan tree goes dormant. Pecans need another tree as a polinator, so you would have to have another pecan or hickory tree within a couple hundred yards to get nuts. Here is a picture of the nutlets. They should be visible about the time the male flowers are releasing pollen.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2005 at 12:54PM
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Thank you so much for this photo. Now I know where to look and what to watch for.

We do have pecan trees within 200 yards, although they are on another persons property. I don't know what variety of pecan they have but they all bear pecans each year. I haven't gotten close enough to actually see the nuts when they're first forming, but can see them from the street after they get big. Maybe they are not the correct type to go with our tree or maybe our tree is still too young. If the tree has male flowers (my dad called them tassels :-) does that mean it is possible for it to produce some nuts given the right circumstances?

Thank you again for taking the time to help me. I deeply appreciate the photo.


    Bookmark   April 30, 2005 at 1:45PM
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vernvan(7 Atlanta, GA)

Pecans will take 10 years or so to bear. Male flowers are formed for a couple years prior to female flowers, typically. Any pecan or hickory will fertilize your tree as long as their males are shedding pollen when your females are receptive. You can tell they are receptive when the ends of the nutlets are pale and sticky. The ones in the picture are past being receptive.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2005 at 6:59PM
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Thank you for your kindness to me and for your clear explanation. I've learned more from your two posts than from all the reading I've done on this subject.

The tree may be a bit too young, although it has had the male flowers for the past two years. At least I now know what I'm watching for and understand the process.


    Bookmark   April 30, 2005 at 8:23PM
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