Growing Pecan Trees

kathy_fl_panhandle(8b FL)December 28, 2001

We are interested in planting two pecan trees. I've read where pecans "drink" heavily which should be no problem with an irrigation system. But one of our concerns is how wide the root system travels. How far removed should the tree be placed from walkways, driveways? Should we amend our sand or be thankful for REALLY quick drainage? If you are successfully growing pecan trees could you let us in on your secrets? Thanks! :-)

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Patrick_Conner(z8 Coastal GA)


I probably wouldn't try to ammend the soil. Pecans get very large very quickly and so you would not be buying much time by ammending the soil as they would quickly outgrow it. You will however need to water well. The first years it will be essential just to keep the trees alive, and later it will only be necessary if you want a crop of good quality pecans, if you only want the trees for shade it is less necessary. Pecans will also benefit from a good N application early in the spring. Pecan roots will spread far but I haven't really seen them interfere with a walkway unless it is real close, say less than 6 feet. Most pecans will develope a heavy aphid infestation and so will drip honeydew in the summer. This will mess up your cars or anything else left underneath of them. One important note, pay close attention to what cultivar you plant if you want to harvest pecans. Most pecan varieties are very susceptible to pecan scan which must be chemically controlled and this is very difficult for a homeowner to do, and if you live in town, may be impossible. The following popular cultivars are commonly sold but are seldom useful to the homeowner because of scab susceptibility, you may never see a healthy nut on these cultivars unless it is a very dry year, also seedling trees are not much good.
1. Desirable
2. Schley
3. Stuart
4. Pawnee
5. Cheyenne

'Cape Fear', 'Curtis', and 'Sumner' may be OK, but will still develope disease in wet years.

The best choice for your location, a high scab pressure location, would be 'Elliot'. It grows quickly and produces a high-quality tasty nut. Its only downside is it is somewhat small, but better a small pecan than no pecan. If you need a source for this cultivar let me know and I can give them to you.


    Bookmark   December 31, 2001 at 11:18AM
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kathy_fl_panhandle(8b FL)

Thank you, Patrick. I was glad to see you suggested the variety "Elliot" as we had thought (from what we have read) it would be a good choice. Where do you suggest purchasing pecan trees?

    Bookmark   December 31, 2001 at 9:29PM
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Patrick_Conner(z8 Coastal GA)


This is not as easy to answer as I thought. My two favorite nurseries (Womack in Texas, and Isons in Ga) don't have the Elliot variety. The following sources do have it listed and while I haven't purchased trees from them, I would reccomend them in that order. I would call soon as they'll be shipping now and commonly sell out early.


This link lists some Alabama nurseries you could call.


    Bookmark   January 1, 2002 at 12:13PM
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athagan(z9a N/C Fl)

Here in Alachua county the extension service recommends the following varieties:


All of which are supposed to be fairly resistant to scab and are recommended for home growers who aren't likely to get into spray programs. I just planted the first three trees this month and would plant a Curtis if I could find one but have had zip luck.

I don't really recommend planting pecans close to your house, the Hagan farm has a number of them up in Georgia and they're sometimes prone to breaking some mighty large limbs when the trees mature.


    Bookmark   January 8, 2002 at 4:40PM
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kathy_fl_panhandle(8b FL)

Alan, From whom did you purchase your pecan trees?

    Bookmark   January 9, 2002 at 7:57AM
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athagan(z9a N/C Fl)

I bought them from Wally Gator Nursery on Hwy 339 in Trenton, Fl. His phone number is 352-463-6120. He'd just gotten in a shipment of bare root trees the day before I bought mine but that's been a couple of weeks ago now.

Had a heck of a time finding *any* local nursery that carried pecan trees. Doesn't seem to be much demand for them. Still can't find a Curtis locally or by mail order.


    Bookmark   January 9, 2002 at 12:51PM
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Patrick_Conner(z8 Coastal GA)


Curtis is an older cultivar that isn't much grown anymore. I doubt you'll find it anywhere. Your only hope would be to get some graftwood and graft your own. Your extension service really shouldn't be reccommending Desirable to home growers, it is doing them a disservice. Early in the century Desirable was very resistant, but in the last 30 years it became widely planted in commercial groves and the scab fungus became able to infect it. Now that race of fungus is widespread and Desirable is no longer resistant. The same pretty much applies to Stuart, although it may not be as bad. Still, if you only have a tree or two you may be OK.


    Bookmark   January 10, 2002 at 4:27PM
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athagan(z9a N/C Fl)

Perhaps that particular strain of scab isn't present in Alachua county, I don't know. I put the Desirable in more as a pollenizer for my other trees since I've read in several places that as a pollenizer it will improve the yields of other varieties.

I did put in an Elliott myself but don't want to be limited to just one variety. Our extension service also recommends Moreland which I have not been able to find any info on which is why I didn't mention it earlier. They didn't recommend the Cape Fear but it seems to be commonly available here (considering the scarcity of pecan trees). Know anything about them?


    Bookmark   January 10, 2002 at 4:51PM
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The USDA Pecan Breeding & Genetics website has a wealth of information on many of the pecan varieties, including disease resistance, bloom/pollen-shed periods, maturation dates, advantages/disadvantages and nut photos for many.

Here is a link that might be useful: USDA Pecan Breeding & Genetics

    Bookmark   January 11, 2002 at 11:43AM
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athagan(z9a N/C Fl)

Thanks for the link, Lucky. I came across it last month but in looking at it again from your URL saw something that I had missed. There's a new variety out that sounds promising:

'Nacono' (nut photo) Originated from a controlled cross ('Cheyenne' X 'Sioux') made in Brownwood, TX by E. J. Brown and G. D. Madden in 1974. Tested as 74-5-55 by T. E. Thompson, L. J. Grauke and J. B. Storey and released in 2000. Nut: oblong with acute apex, and an acuminate (pointed) base; round in cros section; 44 nuts/lb, 56% kernel; kernels cream to golden in color, with shallow
dorsal grooves and rounded dorsal ridge. Nuts shell out easily into full halves and have excellent eye appeal. Protogynous, with midseason pollen shed and early receptivity. Resistant to scab [7 year mean nut scab of 1.06 (where 1=resistant, 5=very susceptible) while 'Desirable' tested at 1.90 and 'Stuart' at 1.21]. Moderately susceptible to yellow and black aphids. Trees are vigorous, with branched central leader form (photo of tree form) with strong limb angles. Bud growth commences shortly after 'Desirable' in the spring. Leaves are characterized by large leaflets, a feature common to other members of this cross family (74-5-60 and 75-5-6). Medium precocity (comparable to 'Pawnee'). Nuts average 3 per cluster. Shucks are glossy yellow green (photo of nuts in shucks), with medium suture wings near the apex. Nuts mature mid-late October, about one week prior to 'Desirable'. 'Nacono' bears well, but avoids overbearing.

Being so new I hadn't heard of it before. I wonder if it'll bear in North Florida? Does anyone know?


    Bookmark   January 11, 2002 at 12:39PM
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Patrick_Conner(z8 Coastal GA)


I don't think anyone has tested Nacono east of the Mississippi. We are putting in a test planting of it, but won't know anything for a few years. Generally things that look pretty resistant in Texas tests come out fairly susceptible here. For example, in their test Desirable was not bad at 1.9 out of 5. In most tests in the southeast, it would come out at 4 or 5. We just seem to have more disease pressure here.

Cape Fear isn't a bad variety. It is very vigorous and has heavy yields as a young tree. As a mature tree (around 13 years old and older) it sometimes sets such a heavy crop that the nuts don't fill out well. In some areas it is pretty scab resistant, and in other areas I've seen it scab badly. Moreland is similar as far as scab goes, it varies by location. Both Moreland and Cape Fear are better than Desirable and Stuart for scab resistance, but not as good as Gloria Grande or Elliot.

I've put a link below to the UGA site that you may find interesting.


Here is a link that might be useful: UGA pecan breeding program

    Bookmark   January 14, 2002 at 9:54AM
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Somebody sent me some Nacono scionwood to trial last spring, and I got one graft that took and started growing, but then got nuked by a couple of sub-freezing nights in mid-April. Don't know that it would have been able to reliably fill its nuts here in KY, anyway.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2002 at 5:12PM
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There are three 'new' varieties that the pecan folks at Auburn University are really pushing - Jenkins, McMillan, and Syrup Mill.

Jenkins(north MS seedling) Large nut, appears to be excellent tree with regard to pest resistance. Nut quality outstanding - Nuts resemble Desirable, but a little smaller. Matures ~15 Oct.
Syrup Mill(Mobile Co.,AL seedling) Has produced good yields, is extremely vigorous and retains foliage well. Kernels are bright.
McMillan(Baldwin Co.,AL seedling) Has been highly productive and consistent. Scab damage on nuts has been very light. Matures ~20 Oct.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2002 at 5:36PM
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We are in Esto about 12 miles from Bonifay. We don't have any pecan trees but there is a lot here.. there is several.. many varieties at the church we go to & they seem to thrive on neglect.. There was many pecans this year..all the trees produced very well here..

    Bookmark   January 25, 2002 at 12:06AM
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athagan(z9a N/C Fl)

I've got space left for one more pecan and I'm really stuck on it. I've already got an Elliot, Stuart and Desirable and cannot make up my mind whether I should fill that last spot with a Gloria Grande, Moreland, or Cape Fear.

Nut quality on the Gloria Grande doesn't appear to be what it could be according to the USDA and UGA sites but it does have good scab resistance. Moreland and Cape Fear seem to be about equal in scab resistance though not as good as Gloria. Moreland probably edges out Cape because it has better performance as a mature tree but you have to wait for it. Cape Fear does have one advantage in the fact that it is protandrous where all of the others (except for the Desirable I already have) are protygynous.

How important is the protandrous/protygynous thing? It would seem advisable to split my four trees two each which would mean going with the Cape Fear. So far as I can tell there are no other pecan trees within a mile or two of where I'm at.

So far the Moreland still seems the way to go but for the fact that like the Curtis I simply cannot find one locally or by mail order. I did find a Gloria Grande and found Cape Fear last month so could probably find it again though I may have to wait until next year.

Thanks for the advice y'all have given so far.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2002 at 9:02AM
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Patrick_Conner(z8 Coastal GA)


With the cultivars you already have, you have a pretty good spread on pollination dates. I wouldn't choose the final cultivar based on that. You've pretty accurately stated the plusses and minuses of the cultivars you are considering.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2002 at 12:57PM
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I am a Professor at Auburn University and have been evaluating pecans, particularly for scab resistance, for 20 years. Following this research, we suggest only 6 cultivars for home and low-input plantings. They are: Elliott (the standard of scab resistant cultivars, with exceptional disease resistance and quality, but disadvantages of alternate bearing, aphid susceptibility, and early budbreak leading to spring freeze damage), Jenkins, McMillan, Syrup Mill, Gafford, and Carter.

Without sprays, I classify the following cultivars mentioned previously as terrible (meaning unlikely to ever produce a decent nut crop) : Desirable, Nacono

Bad: Meaning producing decent nuts less than half the time in the absence of sprays: Gloria Grande, Stuart, Cape Fear.

OK: Usually producing decent nuts: Curtis

The varieties suggested as good are rarely available commercially, as most nurseries sell reject, left-over trees of commercial vareities like Desirable that knowledgeable commercial growers won't have to retail nurseries.

A few nurseries are starting to hear us and catering to small-scale orchards and homeowners. These nurseries include Underwood Nursery, Foley, AL 334-943-8056; Dellwood Nursery, Foley, AL 334-943-8693: and Southern Heritage Nursery (container trees), Bastrop, LA 318-281-0681. Don't expect to buy any of the recommended trees without reserving them a year in advance.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2002 at 11:43AM
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athagan(z9a N/C Fl)

Just popped back in here after a long absence. Thanks for the leads on the trees!

I've never heard of Jenkins, McMillan, Syrup Mill, Gafford, or Carter so I'll have to research them. You didn't mention Moreland, do you have anything to say about it?

I need to write to the extension folks here in Florida and enquire about the apparent conflict between what the Florida, Georgia and Alabama extension services recommend. I've been on all three websites and one says use these varities while another says don't. Perhaps it's just the differences in growing locations? I'm in Gainesville, Florida.

For what it's worth the Elliot I planted this winter was the first to break out, then the Desirable and lastly the Stuart which was late enough that I was wondering if it was dead. The Desirable is by far growing the best but it was container grown while the Elliot and Stuart were bare root trees. Have to try to locate a source of pecan fertilizer soon as it's getting to be that time.

Thanks again for the info.


    Bookmark   April 30, 2002 at 4:21PM
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I live in Brookln NY and I was wondering can you grow pecan Trees in my zone?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2002 at 12:45PM
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Yes, you can grow pecans in zone 6 & parts of zone 5, though they won't be the large Southern types - you'll have to opt for the northern/midwestern or ultra-northern types; smaller nuts that mature in your shorter, cooler growing season, but just as tasty as their Southern counterparts.
There's a guy in Lawrenceville, NJ whom I've been trading pecan & hickory scions with for a few years.

John H. Gordon, Jr. offers a good selection of northern pecan varieties from his nursery in Amherst, NY. Check out his website at:

Also, have a look at the NNGA website - several NNGA members have their online nursery catalogs linked there at the NNGA Marketplace page.

Here is a link that might be useful: Northern Nut Growers Association

    Bookmark   May 15, 2002 at 4:18PM
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Hi, I live in Houston and have 4 big pecan trees in my yard. Does anyone know of any kind of product that helps with pecan pick-up, like a special rake, or some sort of net in the trees, etc.? Picking them up by hand is time consuming!!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2002 at 12:00AM
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There are a number of 'pecan picker-uppers' on the market.
I have a little Duke's pecan picker-upper - just like the one my grandfather used. Roll-a-nut is another good one.

Check out the website linked below. They have models you can push, like a lawnmower or tow behind your riding mower/lawn tractor, etc.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bag-a-nut

    Bookmark   August 26, 2002 at 9:39AM
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I am interested in learning how to grow seedlings from pecan nuts.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2002 at 11:43AM
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kathy_fl_panhandle(8b FL)

We received a lovely pecan tree as a gift last January but it remained a leafless stick throughout the growing season. We contacted the out of state nursery which did NOT guarantee it's product. :-(

Moral: Buy local. And do look a gift tree in the trunk.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2002 at 7:50PM
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flatwoods_farm(9A Riverview, F)

Hi. I got my Moreland tree from Just Fruit in Crawfordville, Fla. 6 years ago. It is said to be self pollinating. It grows really well here in rich riverbottom soil, but gets attacked every Fall by twig girdler beetles; they cut off lots of good branches. I've learned to wrap susceptible branches with aluminum foil before they arrive.Tree has not matured enough to produce nuts yet. Paul.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2002 at 9:30PM
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athagan(z9a N/C Fl)

Finally picked up a Moreland pecan this year. Just Fruits and Exotics has a nice stock of them at the moment along with Sumner which I didn't get. I've squozen room out for perhaps two more trees and I'm going to save that space for one of the varieties that Dr. Goff mentions above if ever I can find any info about their performance in Florida.

I did come across a nice list of pecan nurseries from Auburn U. for anyone who is interested. I'll put it below.


Here is a link that might be useful: Pecan Nursery List

    Bookmark   January 7, 2003 at 1:40PM
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I have recently become interested in planting four or five pecan trees out behind my house and also on some other land that I own out in the country. I live in northern Mississippi just a few miles south of Memphis. I am interested in learning what are the recommended varities of pecan trees for my area based on production and disease resistance. The only two varieties that I have seen locally are Desirable and Stuart at my local co-op, which from I have seen on the internet, aren't really recommended that much any more since they aren't very scab resistant. Another customer at the co-op told me about a pecan grower just outside of Jackson, MS that sells the pecan grafts to graft onto seedlings. I promptly called the grower and he told me that the grafts were $1.00 a piece and that they were about 12 inches long and are cut in half to make two grafts. My question now is where can I obtain some pecan seedlings that I can graft to. I realize that I may have to wait a year or two after planting for the tree to be big enough to graft, but I have been unable to find any seedlings on the internet. It seems that it will be a lot more economical to graft the trees (even if I have to wait a couple extra years) than to buy already grafted trees at $20-$30 a piece and they aren't even the newest recommended varieties. Any help and suggestions would be much appreciated. I don't mind buying in bulk if I have to because whatever I don't plant behind my house, I can plant out on the land that I own since it is already mostly woods and only used for hunting.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2003 at 10:18AM
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athagan(z9a N/C Fl)

Given the number of years you have to wait to find out if you've made a wise choice or not I'd be much more willing to pay up front for known quality. I have planted a Desirable and a Stuart and while I'm not unhappy with them I've also hedged my bets by planted other varieties that are known to be scab resistant such as Elliott and Moreland.

In his post above Dr. Goff gives a list of several nurseries that carry the new varieties that he recommends. Unfortunately, none of the three have a presence on the Internet but he does give telephone numbers and you can go to the pecan nursery list that I linked to in one of my above posts for further contact information and other nurseries that also sell pecan trees.

As common as they are across the South one would think that more nurseries would carry pecan trees but in two years of intensive looking across North Florida it's been my experience that very, very few nurseries do and when they do have any stock it's often of a poor choice of varieties.

Just Fruits & Exotics is where I got my Moreland, they also had Sumner when I was there a month or so ago and some Cape Fear though the fellow at the time didn't want to sell any because he said they weren't of much quality. Moreland and Sumner are older varieties but have moderate scab resistance.

I'm eventually going to try putting in a Jenkins and a McMillan which will fill out my available space for pecans. They seem to be the most recommended of the five new varieties for Southern Alabama which is as close as I've been able to come to finding any info on how they could be expected to perform for North Florida. So far they're all so new that only Auburn University seems to have any data on them, at least on the World Wide Web anyways. You might try spending some time on the Alabama Cooperative Extension site and study what they've got. The other three of the new varieties seem to be recommended for Central or Northern Alabama and at least one of them ought to do well for you.


    Bookmark   February 7, 2003 at 9:16AM
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"Jenkins", one of the 5 or 6 varieties that the folks at AU are really pushing, is a north MS origin selection, so it should be 'right at home' for you.

You're right, grafting your own can be cheaper - but let me warn you in advance, they're not nearly so easy to do as are apples/pears, etc. But with patience & practice - and some luck, you can get decent success rates - but be advised - it can become an obsession!
You can purchase pecan seedlings, or grow your own from locally produced nuts - easy to grow; just soak 'em for a week or so and plant. Some varieties seem to work better than others - in my neck of the woods, seedlings of "Major" are the preferred understock for pecans & hickories - but in N.Mississippi, other seedling strains may be preferred. That information is 'out there' somewhere, but you may need to touch bases with pecan specialists at Miss. State or Auburn to get the skinny on it.

I've had best success doing a 3- or 4-flap graft with pecans & hickories, but have had reasonable success doing just a simple bark graft, as well. The folks at Auburn are really pleased with results they're getting with a "2-flap bud method", introduced by Dr. Huang, a visiting professor from China. This sounds sort of like what you've described as the technique your scionwood source is using - he may even be amenable to showing you how to do it.

Lots of info out on the 'net regarding grafting pecans. TAMU, NMSU, and OK State have some good online articles.

Here is a link that might be useful: TAMU Pecan Propagation articles

    Bookmark   February 7, 2003 at 10:38AM
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I purchased two pecan trees about three years ago. One was a Stuart, and the other a Cape Fear. They both have stayed alive, but have had very little success growing. They both continue to get new leaves each year, but are staying the same basic height. One is getting a little bushy, the other just looks like an old stick with a few leaves. Is there anything that I can do to jump start these trees. How often should I be watering and or feeding them. What kind of fertilizer is acceptable for these types of pecans. Please help.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2003 at 10:55PM
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landspro(Z8 Gulf Coast)


I use the fruit/nut fertilizer stakes that you can purchase at most garden centers. I use one of those bulb starter drills to make the hole for the stakes rather than driving them in with a hammer. My ground tends to be to hard (clay type) and hammering just makes them go to pieces.

You simply follow the instructions and put the stakes around the drip line using the number described according to the size of your tree.

I have two 60 year Stuarts located within 6-8 foot of the back of my home and the only problem I have had is with falling branches especially during tropical storms.

Pecan trees take up to 10 years after you plant them to start producing crop, and then they will not produce that many.

I have planted many young ones, and I tried some really thin papershells, but they do not seem to do as well in our rainy climate. We average 65 inches per year, and most of that comes in short, heavy rains.

It seems that we get a good crop about every other year. This year will be a bumper crop if there are no hurricanes or bad storms. You see, we had a very sudden late, hard freeze after over a month of spring warmth. Somehow, I suspect that threatens the trees, and they try harder to reproduce. Anyway, the trees, even my baby ones are loaded.

Also, be careful with digging or removing topsoil around these trees after planting. I lost 7 large ones because unknowing to me, the neighbor had removed topsoil to make a burm around his pool before I purchased my home. Slowly, but surely, they died.

Pecan trees are rapid growers, so the wood tends to be brittle. That results in a lot of small limbs to pick up, but it is worth it. I love the shade in the summer, the sun in the winter, and the pecans in the fall...

I also have fallen trap to bargain, late sales of bareroot pecan trees that died.

And the squirrels are constantly burying pecans in my flower beds and potted plants along with acorns....

But, hey, I love living in a pecan grove!!!!!

Good Luck and Enjoy Your Pecan Trees!

Ann B.
Zone 8b
Gulf Coast

    Bookmark   May 16, 2003 at 2:53AM
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I am feeling completely ignorant about growing pecan trees, but I have a couple of questions. I received a pecan tree 18 years ago as a gift for Arbor Day (3rd grade). I planted it and faithfully took care of it for years (as best as I knew how). I live in Lincoln, NE and am wondering if it will ever develop pecans, or is it going to be for shade only? It's grown and continues to grow, but no pecans. That is the reason I was so excited to get it 18 years ago. I just need advice as to what I can do to bring it along or is it just too late?

    Bookmark   May 16, 2003 at 11:14PM
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landspro(Z8 Gulf Coast)


You most likely need another tree to assist in pollination.

Here, they are planted in alternating rows. Each row is usually a different variety.

See the link below. There is a good explanation as to why....

Ann B.
Zone 8b
Gulf Coast

Here is a link that might be useful: Seven Reasons Why Pecan Trees Don't Produce

    Bookmark   May 17, 2003 at 5:27PM
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Being an ADF seedling, I've got some serious doubts about whether it's an appropriate seedling strain for your area; if, for example, it's a seedling of "Stuart", the tree may be winter-hardy, but it would be unlikely that it would be able to mature nuts in your short growing season.
Pecans are, for the most part, not self-fertile; you need two or more trees with compatible pollen-shed/nutlet receptivity patterns in order to get cross-pollenation and nut set.
The Nebraska Nut Growers Association is headquartered right there in Lincoln at UNL. Try contacting Dr. Bill Gustafson or some of the other extension folks with expertise in nut tree culture. There is contact information at the NNGA website, linked below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Northern Nut Growers Association

    Bookmark   May 19, 2003 at 10:54AM
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SunnyCher(MS 9a - 9b)

Hi Everyone!
I just moved to south AL, Citronelle to be exact.
The house we purchased was built in the early 70's and seems
to be in a pecan orchard.
I am totally ignorant when it comes to taking care of pecans but want to learn!
In June this year when we looked at the house (it sits on 1.5 acres) the pecan trees were huge and green and full.
My understanding is, pecan trees produce pecans in Sept? but it seems out of all the trees on our property, one produced pecans but are no longer there or on the ground for that matter. At any rate, my trees dropped all their leaves, I then noticed that the trees, most of them, were cut. It looks as though they cut them to make them grow out instead of up? Is this typical? So my other thing is, my brother seems to think the trees are diseased but for some strange reason they are all starting to grow new bright wonderful leaves. Is this normal?
I have no clue what kind of pecan trees they are, how do I find out? How do I take care of them? They are huge trees and I don't want them to die.
Any advice is appreciated!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2003 at 11:36PM
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Lots of good info and some bad info in this thread re pecan culture.

1. Contact your local extension service for specific information re growing pecans in your area.

2. If you buy grafted trees, know where the rootstock came from. A southern rootstock (south Alabama, gulf coast produced) is adapted for the gulf coast but is not adapted to North Alabama. This is highly variety specific! Similarly, a tree grown in Kentucky needs to be on a northern rootstock. Major is an oft recommended variety in zone 6. If it is grafted on a Desirable rootstock and planted in Kentucky, then you are headed for the winter kill zone. Stuart is a possible exception in producing rootstocks that survive pretty well up into Tennessee but not much further north. This is only a small part of the rootstock story!

3. Grow varieties adapted to your area. The SouthEast has a much wetter climate than Texas. Pecans that produce well in the programs in Texas are unlikely to be good choices for Alabama or Georgia. Bill Goff's suggested varieties are an excellent start for homeowners. But even then be aware that your particular climate may not be conducive. An example is Gafford which seems to do well in South Alabama but does poorly in North Alabama. Houma is one variety that Bill Goff did not mention. It may be worth considering in some parts of South Alabama and North Florida. I'm kind of on the dumb side, I planted a Houma in North Alabama in 1995 and so far have had exceptionally good growth from the tree. Its production has been nominal as expected for a young tree. Sumner by comparison is terribly winter susceptible. Of the trees Bill Goff mentioned, Syrup Mill, McMillan, and Jenkins are probably capable of growth and production in North Alabama. I know where an Elliott tree is growing near Rainsville Alabama that is doing just fine. (@50 years old, 80 feet tall, heavy production of small nuts)

4. Give your trees extra care the first three years after planting. The very best results I have had are from digging an extra deep and wide hole and filling it back in around the tree with topsoil. Water the tree often the first summer. If you can find a local source of rabbit manure, put that around your trees by the truck load. (apply around the tree but not touching the bark!) Control weeds and grass around the new tree. The surest way to kill a new transplant is to let weeds choke it out. Fertilize heavily but don't overdo it and do it at the righ time. Fall nitrate applications can kill trees by keeping them from going dormant properly. A leaf sample test is the best way to get the fertilizer right. I am looking out my front window at a pecan tree I transplanted 3 summers ago. It is 11 feet tall and 2 inches diameter 4 feet above the ground. You should be able to achieve similar results with proper care.

I'll give a brief description of some cultivars and thoughts about them.

Houma - Louisiana tree, exceptional scab tolerance, very long season, medium nut quality.
Stuart - well adapted to Southeast but scab susceptible, beatiful tree, low nut quality.
Schley - very thin shell, very scab susceptible, very best nut quality, very productive, spray program only!
Elliott - small nut, very good nut quality, scab tolerant, good production, good tasting nut.
Dooley - small nut, very best nut quality, scab susceptible, not adapted to southeast.
Surprize - Large nut, good nut quality, moderate scab susceptibility, not precocious.
Desirable - standar cultivar in Georgia, spray program only, large nut, consistent production.
Mahan - a big nut! scab susceptible, poor filling, beautiful foliage, plant only if you want nuts 1 year in 10.
Podsednik - very big nut, lousy filling, scab susceptible, waste of time.

Indian names (Mohawk, Apache, Cheyenne, Nacono, etc.) from USDA breeding program are just not adapted here in the SouthEast. The exception is Pawnee which has grown and produced well in North Alabama. Its somewhat scab susceptible but still manages to make a crop.

It will be a few years yet before I can talk about Syrup Mill, McMillan, and Jenkins. Grafts are just a few years old.

Texas pecan nursery has been mentioned but for some really unusual nut trees check out:


    Bookmark   October 18, 2003 at 11:18AM
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Good info on rootstock selection. There's a guy about an hour-hour & a half NW of me here in KY who started out planting northern pecan varieties a number of years back, but they came from a southern pecan nursery - on southern pecan rootstock - and the first real tough KY winter killed all 1000+ of them.
By the same token, I don't know how well northern pecan rootstock(Major seedlings are preferred here) would perform in S.AL; they won't die, but might not be as productive as a southern seedling strain.
If you look at some of the TX pecan nurseries - like Womack's in DeLeon TX - while they deal almost exclusively with Southern pecan cultivars, they do break them down into 'eastern' and 'western' types.
Mohawk does OK up here in KY, though as it ages, it tends to overbear, and doesn't fill well some years. Its offspring, Pawnee(MohawkXStarking Hardy Giant), is a good selection for my area(southern west-central KY), and even does well into parts of MO & KS. I'm trying Pawnee's full-sib, Creek, but it's too soon to tell how it'll do up here.

The folks at Nolin River Nut Tree Nursery(linked above) are friends of mine, and while I can certainly recommend them for northern growers, most of the northern and ultra-northern pecan selections they offer won't really be a good choice for y'all folks down south - tasty, but tiny, compared to just about any of the good Southern pecans.
Hickories? I've seen a number of shellbark hickories in N.AL, but don't ever recall seeing one in all my days of roaming the woods of east-central AL; there's only one shagbark that I'm aware of on the farm I grew up on, just outside of Auburn/Opelika. I have a classmate there who bought some grafted hickories from NRNTN last year, but John really only recommended shellbark selections, as they tend to be more scab-resistant than most shagbarks.
Only time will tell if those northern hickories will work in AL.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2003 at 4:54PM
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rem1061(Z9 Houston TX)

I have read many of the replies here and am still a little confused on the type trees that would be the best in concert with each other. I live just east of Houston Texas in a little town called Dayton, about a thousand yards from the Trinity river. Our soil has a lot of clay about a foot down, very high water table and lots of rain spring/fall/winter. I intend to plant either 2 or 4 trees, cultivars about 7-9 feet tall. There are a lot of so called " Hog nut " trees around but not much in the way of bearing Pecan trees within a three mile radius.
I would also like to know if any one has ever heard of a very old cultivar named " Mississippi Giant ". It has a nut that looks like a Mahan to me.
Give me your suggestions please.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2003 at 10:16PM
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Do the research. Call you local extension agent. Use the web resources such as:
Pay particular attention to the pecan breeding and genetics link.

Then go to

Given the area you live in, you might be able to grow Nacono, Wichita, Houma, Candy, Pawnee, Moreland, etc.

Mahan is Mississippi Giant. See


    Bookmark   December 13, 2003 at 10:07AM
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rem1061(Z9 Houston TX)

I have been doing the research and I just get more confused.
The Aggie web site you suggested shows, on one page that
Success is rated 1 for no scab lesions. On another page on the SAME website it is said to be very susceptible to scab.
When the same group contradicts itself I have a bit of a problem determining the correct answer.
I appreciate the suggestion of the website and the list of the pecan types.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2003 at 7:51PM
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Ignore most of what they have to say about scab resistance. Quite simply put, their information is seriously dated. Don't touch Success with a 20 foot pole.

Here is a link to some varieties. I strongly suggest you consider Candy, Elliott, Creek, Moreland, and possibly Houma. Alabamapecangrowsers commercial
Here is the same link Bill Goff gave aboveAlabamapecangrowers Low Input

If you want to get some of the very high scab tolerant varieties, you will have to either graft your own(its what I am doing) or buy trees from Underwood or Dellwood nurseries


    Bookmark   December 13, 2003 at 10:14PM
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rem1061(Z9 Houston TX)

Thanks Fusion, I'm trying my hand at grafting ( or will be in the early spring) with some Scions from a very old Mahan that I have in Shreveport. I am putting it on some native stock that has grown on its own in my yard. I'm not stuck on the Mahan, just that I have a unlimited amount of donor wood to try with.
Thanks for the info, my biggest concern is going to be choosing a location that isn't too wet for too long for the new trees.

Thanks again

    Bookmark   December 14, 2003 at 4:23PM
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april_sound(Z8 TX)

"Posted by: SunnyCher 8 AL (My Page) on Fri, Sep 26, 03 at 23:36

Hi Everyone!
I just moved to south AL, Citronelle to be exact.
The house we purchased was built in the early 70's and seems to be in a pecan orchard. ... In June this year when we looked at the house (it sits on 1.5 acres) the pecan trees were huge and green and full. My understanding is, pecan trees produce pecans in Sept?"

Well, they "produce" them all summer but harvest is usually in October.

"but it seems out of all the trees on our property, one produced pecans but are no longer there or on the ground for that matter."


"At any rate, my trees dropped all their leaves, I then noticed that the trees, most of them, were cut. It looks as though they cut them to make them grow out instead of up? Is this typical? So my other thing is, my brother seems to think the trees are diseased but for some strange reason they are all starting to grow new bright wonderful leaves. Is this normal?"

It can be 'normal.' You didn't give the sequence of events but it might have been a late frost that killed the first leaves or it might be a lot of other things, including disease. But if you see no signs of disease and are not spraying them with zinc, that may be the culprit. Pecans need zinc to produce good leaves. Maybe the previous owner knew that.
"I have no clue what kind of pecan trees they are, how do I find out? How do I take care of them? They are huge trees and I don't want them to die."

There is plenty of pecan-tree care advice on the Internet and from your local agricultural extension agent. They can also help identify the kind of pecan tree you have. Is it obviously grafted or does it look like a native version? Can you send nuts for identification or find them on the web?

Tree "topping" was practiced for many years but is now discouraged. I gather it was designed to get the fruit closer to the ground, but modern techniques use tree shakers to harvest pecans and the height of the tree is a plus, not a minus.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2003 at 11:35PM
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would seriously concider mr goff as one of the leadin experts on pecan trees in the usa. you got any pecan books
look an see who wrote em chances are mr goff helped.
sure bill bunn would echo my words

small nc grower

    Bookmark   January 9, 2004 at 7:50PM
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For those interested in grafting their own trees of the scab resistant pecan cultivars we suggest from Auburn University, we have limited supplies of graftwood available free. Contact Cathy Browne with requests. We recommend Syrup Mill, Jenkins, Gafford, Carter, and McMillan, plus the standard cultivar Elliott for scab prone areas in the humid SE.

Bill Goff
Professor of Horticulture and Extension Pecan Specialist
Auburn University

    Bookmark   January 11, 2004 at 12:16AM
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beetlebob(z8b SC)

Well I guess I am the lucky one of the bunch. Pecan trees grow at the entry of my neighbor hood and there are nuts everywhere. I had a tree fall over during Floyd and a squirrel put a nut under ground in the smae site of the last tree and (tada) I have a pecan tree.Going on 3rd year and it is 10 feet tall already.It onlt gets ferts when I give the grass some and most of the time I forget to water it. It is 4 ft. from the street in full sun and doing GREAT. I say if you want a Pecan tree go out and find smoe nuts from a tree near you and plant them.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2004 at 9:57AM
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Roy1943(z8 GA)

For those interested in grafting pecan trees, there is an excellent video from Kansas State University that demonstrates the 3 flap graft and the bark inlay graft.
The address is:
Kansas State University
Department of communications
301 Umberger Hall
Manhattan, Ks 66506-3402
Phone: 785-532-5830 orders
785-532-7938 fax

Also, If anyone is interested I have a small amount of scion wood avaliable for the following cultivars. Gloria Grande, Candy, stuart, and sumner.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2004 at 8:43AM
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I was going to apply some zinc to my pecan trees, but was wondering what the difference between zinc oxide and zinc sulfate was. I went to my local co-op and told them that I needed some zinc sulfate to put around my pecan tree. What I actually got was zinc oxide. Is there any difference and if so, what?

    Bookmark   February 12, 2004 at 11:30PM
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bradleyb i dont no the answer to your question i go to southern states an get the peacan special fert with zinc.

any of yall want to go to the southeastern peacan growers association convention it will be held at the beau rivage resort an casino biloxi mississippi march 2-3 2004

program chair
dr. bill goff
auburn university

    Bookmark   February 26, 2004 at 7:20PM
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athagan(z9a N/C Fl)

The University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service has finally updated their information on pecan variety selection and cultivation for Florida.

I imagine it's going to be some years yet before we have any data on the performance in Florida of the recent Auburn variety releases.

The one Desirable that I planted continues to grow head and shoulders better than the other more preferred varieties that I have planted. Well, if it never makes a nut it ought to be a good pollenizer for the others, I suppose.

Highly Recommended Cultivars

Cape Fear: Cape Fear originated in North Carolina (Figure 10a ). It is protandrous and precocious. Pollen shedding in Cape Fear is very early. Elliott or Stuart are fair pollinizers for Cape Fear and vice versa. Cape Fear trees are vigorous and upright with an opened growth habit. It is a strong tree with a deep taproot. Cape Fear is moderately precocious. Cape Fear has been a consistent producer at the NFREC-Monticello. Nut weight is typically 7.5 to 8.2 g (58 nuts per pound) with a 55% kernel. Kernel color is light and attractive in appearance. Nut shape is broad oval to oblong. Shell thickness is medium-thin. Resistance to scab is good, and resistance to other leaf diseases is fair.

Elliott: The origin of Elliott is northwest Florida (Figure 10b ). It is protogynous. Elliott is not precocious, but more precocious than Stuart. Stigma receptivity occurs early in the season. Cape Fear and Desirable are good pollinizers for Elliott. Elliott is moderately vigorous and is a strong tree with a deep taproot. Elliott has produced a moderate-sized crop at the NFREC-Monticello. Nut size is small, typically 5.5 g (82 nuts per pound) with a 54% kernel. Nut shape is fairly round with a pointed apex. The shell is medium thick. Kernel color is light and quality and flavor is very good. Another redeeming quality of Elliott is excellent resistance to scab and other leaf diseases. Elliott has a low chilling requirement and is suited for areas further south than some other pecan cultivars.

Moreland: Moreland is a disease-resistant cultivar that has produced consistently high yields at the NFREC-Monticello (Figure 10c ). Moreland originated in Louisiana. Trees are moderately vigorous and produce a dense canopy. It is protogynous and moderately precocious. Cape Fear or Desirable is a good pollinizer for Moreland. Nut weight is about 8.2 g (55 nuts per pound) and percentage kernel is about 55%. It resembles Schley in appearance; however, it is not as bright in color and is harder to crack by hand and mechanically. Nut shape is slightly ovate to oblong and shell thickness is medium. Moreland is highly resistant to scab and other leaf diseases. Cape Fear is a good pollinizer for Moreland.

Recommended Cultivars

Curtis: Curtis was initially selected from a tree in Orange Heights, Florida ( Figure 11a ). Curtis is protogynous. Curtis is a good late season pollinizer. It has produced consistently high yields at the NFREC-Monticello. Nut size is small (5.0 to 5.5 g) and shape is slightly pointed toward the apex. Shell thickness is medium thin with 53% kernel. Kernels are dark and have a speckled appearance. It is adapted to regions further south than many cultivars as it has a low chilling requirement, but a high heat requirement for budbreak. The tree is of low to moderate vigor with slightly spreading upright growth. Curtis is fairly resistant to pecan scab and other leaf diseases; however, due to small nut size, a dark speckled kernel and late maturity it is not highly recommended.

Sumner: Sumner was a seedling selected in southern Georgia ( Figure 11b ). It is a largely overlooked cultivar. Trees of Sumner are moderately strong and upright in growth habit with a moderately open canopy. It is protogynous, precocious and prolific. Sumner is a good late-season pollinizer. Desirable is a suitable pollinizer for Sumner. Nut size is large (9.5 g or 48 nuts per pound). Overall nut quality is good, although kernels can be somewhat dark. Nut shape is oblong with an obtuse base and a pointed apex. Nut maturity is late. Sumner has a high resistance to scab and other leaf diseases.

Conditionally Recommended Cultivars

Stuart: Stuart is the most common pecan cultivar grown in the southeastern United States and in the world ( Figure 12a ). Some of the predominance of Stuart is the name recognition of this cultivar. Trees are strong and upright, and do not require as much training or pruning as other cultivars. One of the limitations of this cultivar is that it may take 10 years for it to come into bearing. Stuart is a late-season pollinizer. Stuart is protogynous, and is a good pollinizer for Desirable. Nut size is medium-large (8.3g or 52 nuts per pound). Nut shell is moderately thick. Nut shape is oblong to slightly ovate with a narrow basal end. Percentage kernel is usually low (often 45 %). Kernel color is average and quality is variable. Stuart was once resistant to scab, but is now considered moderately susceptible to scab and other leaf diseases. If Stuart is in a mature planting it is worthy of retention; however, since it is not precocious, it is not highly recommended for new plantings in Florida.

Desirable: Desirable originated in Mississippi ( Figure 12b ). It has been planted extensively in the southeastern United States, often as a pollinizer for Stuart. Wood of Desirable is weak. Desirable is protandrous and moderately precocious. Desirable produces abundant pollen early in the season and is a good pollinizer for many pecan cultivars. Nut size is large (9.5 g or 48 nuts per pound) with a 53% kernel. Kernel color is light and quality is good. The sides of the nut are concave and uneven. Desirable is said to be one of the most consistent cultivars in annual production in Georgia, but has not been a consistent producer in Florida. Desirable is susceptible to scab and other leaf diseases, and should only be grown in Florida under a strict fungicide spray program.

Gloria Grande: Gloria Grande was discovered in South Carolina ( Figure 12c ). It is a strong tree and resembles Stuart in tree and nut characteristics. Tree growth habit is even more upright than that of Stuart. It is protogynous, but not precocious. Nut size is large (9.6 g or 47 nuts per pound). Nut fill is higher than Stuart and is usually in the range of 52 %. Kernel quality is good and color is light. Nut shape is oblong with an obtuse apex and base. Shell thickness is moderately thick. Gloria Grande is a late-season pollinizer. Desirable is a suitable pollinizer for Gloria Grande. Resistance to scab and other leaf diseases is high. Gloria Grande is a possible replacement for Stuart; however, because of insufficient experience with this cultivar in Florida it can only be conditionally recommended at this time.


Here is a link that might be useful: The Pecan Tree

    Bookmark   October 18, 2004 at 8:03AM
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I am a commercial grower of pecan trees and I have purchased more trees than I am going to plant for this year. Any ideas on where I can find people that need pecan trees to plant this year?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2005 at 9:44AM
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Steven_Lloyd(Southern France)

We are interested in getting some pecan trees to plant this year. I would appreciate it if jkemp01 could contact me to let me know the varieties of trees he has and how many. We are Americans living in the south of France and we have been unable to find pecan trees from greenhouses in Europe. Also, in the event that shipping is prohibative, if anyone has information on the availability of Pecan trees in Europe, it would be appreciated. We have a British neighbor who is also looking for trees for his farm.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2005 at 5:30AM
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horticurt(z8a FL)

I am interested in some pecan trees including the 'Jenkins'. Would like jkempo1 to please contact me about varieties he has. I am in the FL panhandle. Thanks.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2005 at 8:01PM
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star4447(z8 FL)

Does anyone know anything about grafting mature pecan trees? It is an old art that seems to have died out. My uncle was the last one to use this method in north Fl but he died in late 80's. He built scaffolding in Mature trees, cut big limbs off and using a double bladed knife, he grafted different varieties of pecans in same tree. Using this method it only took very little time before tree starts producing fruit. Thanks

    Bookmark   April 2, 2005 at 8:22AM
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You can graft branches to 3-4 inches. Try your master gardeners for info on local grafting expertise.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pecan grafting

    Bookmark   April 10, 2005 at 11:05AM
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Danny_Joe(8 La)

I want to purchase native pecan seedlings for grafting class. Any one knowing a source, please contact.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2005 at 5:48AM
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I recently planted Sumner and Elliott trees which I purchased in buckets. They did well. I ordered 8 expensive Caddo trees from Ty Ty nursery in Georgia. They arrived with dry roots. The man at their nursery said they was okay and sometimes good. Guess what they Died.

No help from Ty Ty Nursery. In short, do not order from them. The gel packing that comes with the trees is of little benefit.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 11:44AM
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on a whim at Lowe's I bought Stuart and Desireable trees. Now I start researching pecans and I see that they are not worth planting? Should I throw them out and look for other cultivars? Can someone please tell me that these will be rewarding, or did I just by weeds? Thank you.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2006 at 8:18PM
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I want to plant 4 or 5 pecan trees here in Ocala. I've read a lot on the pros and cons and I don't want to waste my time or money. Any professional opinions? Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2006 at 8:48AM
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Do your due diligence. Spend some time investigating the various pecan websites and find out what will and what will not work for you.

That said, you can learn a lot from the Alabama pecan growers website.



    Bookmark   June 24, 2006 at 9:37PM
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Hi, i'm in south Louisiana and purchased 2 pecan trees today from my local Homedepot the Pawnee & Kiowa, are these good trees to plant in south Louisiana? and will these 2 cross pollinate with each other or do i need another variety? or what veriety of large pappershell nut pecan trees are best to plant in south Louisiana? any help is appreciated.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 1:12AM
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Pawnee and Kiowa are good choices from a pollination standpoint, but both will likely scab in some years at your location to the point that the nuts will be worthless. It's hard to say how many years.

You could do worse buying randomly, but you could also have done better.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 3:45AM
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Nineteen years ago I planted 30 Elliots that I grew from seed and 10 years ago I added some Curtis and Stuarts. The Elliots did not bear until last year...the husks and shells were beautiful but, none had any meat. What have I done wrong or what can be the is an undeniable disappointment! My soil is sandy...the pecans get plenty of rain in the summer but, endure yearly our spring drought.
Why don't my pecan nuts have meat? I am in Gainesville, FL. Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 11:53PM
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Did they not have good kernels (meat) just this first year of production, or are you saying that they have grown the pecans in other years but the shells never had good kernels in any of the years?

From your post it appears you grew the trees from the nuts of Elliot trees, but never grafted them over to Elliot or any another variety. If this is the case, you do not have Elliot trees, you have "seedling" trees from Elliot nuts, because the trees do not grow true to seed.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 1:53AM
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Newbie here. We own land east of Jasper, TX, south of Hemphill on the Toledo Bend Reservoir. We want to plant some pecan trees. When is the best time to plant - spring or fall? Our soil is very sandy.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 11:23AM
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My wife and I live on a family farm that goes back over 100 years. We have 6 old pecan trees (2.5 - 3 ft diameter) that bear every two years. Older family members are all deceased and we only know of one tree that my mother-in-law referred to as a Stuart. The others have different shaped and sized nuts. This is a bumper crop year and we're trying o identify nuts from the other trees. I followed a link from this site to a UFL site that did have some photos. However the resolution was poor and I'm unable to identify nuts from the pics and descriptions.

Does anyone know of a link with good identification pics/descriptors? Thanks in advance for any assistance. This is a great site and I've learned a lot from the discussions.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 8:01PM
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Texas pecan cultivar index

The link above is to the texas pecan repository with both descriptions and photos of pecan varieties. Some of the older varieties you might look at are Schley, Stuart, Pabst, Burkett, curtis, Davis, Desirable, Elliott, Frotscher, All that start with G, Jackson, Jubilee, Mahan, Moneymaker, Owens, Pabst, San Saba, Success, Wesern, and Van Deman.

The only other caution is that it is almost impossible to identify a tree solely from the nut characteristics. Some are really easy such as Schley with its extra thin shell or Success with its unique shape. Said another way, if you really want the trees identified, the best chance is to either get someone who really knows pecans to look at both trees and nuts or else send leaf samples off for dna tests.


    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 10:05AM
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Husband and I bought a house on one acre, in MD. filled with mature fruit- (apples, cherry, peach, pear, plum, fig, grape vines)and nut trees, black walnuts and pecan. We don't know much about how to care for these trees and they are HUGE to reach with spraying and picking....ONE huge Pecan tree just gave us the best nuts in 5 years just last oct-dec 07. Strange, the year prior (06) I fertilized that big old pecan with a simple package of a run of the mill fruit / nut spike(s) (hammered to a powder and distributed @ dripline) and some cow manure tossed in for good measure and the following year it produced at least 100 lb of big fat meaty delicious pecans..Don't know what the pecan variety is, the pecans each have some black stripes on them. They have a maple like flavor too. I have bags of pecans hanging all along our basement stairs in orange mesh onion bags I've saved for this reason. Been giving them away, and snacking on them daily. I never knew wind could be such a friend until now, they helped those nuts drop and early morning and evening picking helped me get first dibs before the squirrels. Searching for all the advise help I can get for my mini orchard here! The rest of the yard is veggie and flower garden.. some day soon Stan won't have to cut too much grass! Question, do Pecans only produce every other year? This is a nice site to read and learn from. Any advise is most welcome!

    Bookmark   January 4, 2008 at 2:28PM
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I've just discovered this discussion. Very good stuff. I don't see any mention of the "Southeastern Pecan Growers Handbook". It's a wonderful introduction and reference to growing Pecans. In 200+ pages, it covers just about everything I can think of that a Pecan grower would want to know.

Some of the contributors to this discussion wrote sections of the Handbook. Maybe they feel that it's too oriented to commercial Pecan production to mention here. I think anyone with any interest in Pecans would enjoy at least browsing in it. The articles are detailed and "hands-on" but clearly written and do not require a technical background to understand.

As the title indicates, some of the information is specific to the Southeast. If you live in other parts of the country, you'll want to talk to your local experts before you act on any of the advice in the Handbook but it will at least tell you the kinds of things you need to think and talk about.

The first edition was published by the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service in 1989 as Circular ANR-459. It was updated by the Georgia College of Ag. and Env. Sciences in 2007 as Bulletin 1327. I do not see where the new version differs enough from the older version to matter a lot unless you're a commercial grower. If there's much Pecan farming where you live, you can probably find one version or the other in local Extension Service offices or public libraries. The new version can be purchased at for $38.

I know this post reads like an advertisement for the Handbook. I don't know any of the authors except some that I've met at meetings and will not benefit in any way from sales of the Handbook. The post is really a testimonial. I inherited a Pecan orchard 6 years ago in a part of the country where there aren't any experts to talk to. I'm still not very good at growing Pecans but I'd have given up a long time ago without the Handbook.

Here is a link that might be useful: Southeastern Pecan Growers Handbook

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 5:48PM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

I purchased about 5 of hand book first was in 1989 I've seen every insect in that book in my orchard in Georgia only twice have seen pecan wasp I can see how one could live long life time and never see one. Prunning was very helpfull first year I gave my planting in Jan.1988 some of everyday time planted 1000 trees 5' to 6' feet tall lost 1 tree that year had bad root but put in ground because it easier to mark spot by planting tree. In 1989 lost one to sun damage third year with intense care they produce 25 lbs nuts apiece adverage to this day I know it was 3 lbs zinc sulfate that add each tree ever year. I never beable to read leaf sample without that book it is great one.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 11:28PM
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I live in Southeast Michigan. My wife has her heart set on growing pecans in our yard. I've been researching and was close to purchasing some varieties that probably wouldn't have worked for me. It's a good thing I found this thread. Can anybody recommend a variety that will bear and an online nursery?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 9:57PM
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do your due diligence jus256. and


    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 7:32PM
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I have a couple of friends in MI(Flint and Eaton Rapids) who grow pecans; you'll need some of the northern/midwestern/far-northern selections, in order to get nuts to mature in your short/low growing-degree-day season, but it can be done.

NRTN is a good source, as is Grimo's. John H. Gordon, Jr. in Amherst NY also offers some good northern/far-northern pecans and other nut trees.
Check out the Northern Nut Growers Assn. website. I've linked the MI NGA website below - there may be members in your area who can point you to varieties that are proven performers there, as well as other potential sources.

Here is a link that might be useful: Michigan Nutgrowers Association.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 7:11PM
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I have always wanted an elliot pecan tree and live in the florida panhandle but do i need to plants two trees, one for pollination as well as my elliot tree in order for it to produce nuts?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 9:35PM
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Pecans are wind-pollenated - if there are other pecans within 1/2 to 1 mile of you (I'm betting that there are!) you don't have to have a second tree to get decent crops of nuts.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 1:23PM
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Actually, pollenizers within 150-200 ft are needed for effective pollination.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 9:53PM
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I have been growing my own rootstock by planting 6 nuts in one location in the fall, marking the location with a 3/4" PVC (so I don't lose it and mow it) and bury a 24" long 6" dia. PVC pipe to water it. I graft them with scions I order from suppliers recommended by Oklahoma State University. OSU has grafting instructions online. It's not that hard.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pecan Tree Growing & Grafting

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 7:51PM
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UF did an 11 year study of 26 pecan cultivars in North Florida and their top three recommendations are Elliot, Moreland, and Sumner.

This is the best link I could find on the subject, with many charts about performance, etc.

Unfortunately, it only lists pollination type, and does not have a cultivar pollination compatibility chart. The pollination charts from UGA and LSU have conflicting info, so the lack of a pollination chart for our area is definitely a need it would be great to have filled.

For instance, UGA says Elliot would be a perfect pollinator for Moreland, but they are both Type II (protogynous,) so how does that work?

Here is a link that might be useful: Pecan Cultivars for North Florida

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 6:22PM
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Here is a link to the Alabama pollination chart.

pollination chart

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 8:38PM
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