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Harvesting Pecans

Posted by sdbrownetal z7 TX (My Page) on
Mon, Oct 11, 04 at 21:57

This is the first year that I have gotten any significant production from my pecan tree. I think I got the when and what to harvest, now I just need to know about when to shell them. It seems like the ones that I harvested this afternoon are a littly sticky and want to seperate with the shells. Is there a curing time or process that I am missing?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Harvesting Pecans

It appears that your pecans are what we call green or not yet matured. The best thing to do is to put them aside in a well ventilated area so that the kernel will dry. On green pecans this normally takes about a week to ten days. After this crack a few and see if they easily separate from the shell, if so they will be ready to shell. After shelling, they will probably still need some drying before bagging. This can be done by laying out in a cool clean, dry space with a fan blowing on them for about a day. If pecans are bagged with a high moisture content they will mold, even if refrigerated.
Hope this info is helpful.

RE: Harvesting Pecans

Yes, very helpful. Thankyou

RE: Harvesting Pecans (from fallen branch)

Hope this is the correct forum for this question; A huge branch broke and fell from my pecan tree last night. The branch is fully loaded with tightly husked large pecans. I'd say I lost about 30% of the tree and now there are loads of pecans on the ground and still on the branch. The problem is that they're not yet ready for harvesting; how can I save these pecans? I'd hate to take a loss on all those pecan pies! Any suggestions?

RE: Harvesting Pecans

The best pecans are those that have fallen naturally from the trees. So, in a sense, you don't harvest them, you pick them off from the ground. Commercial planters shake the trees and get many that are just not ready. If you wait, the ones from the ground will be just right. They will crack and shell easily.

I think they have a better flavor too. Of course, if you have squirrels, it's going to be a race to see who gets them first.

Any that fall off during a storm or something, may or may not dry well. It's well worth trying to save them. Those that are close to falling on their own will be quite good, the ones that are more green may taste too "green"
You'll be able to tell!!
Good luck!

RE: Harvesting Pecans

We built small racks to dry our pecans. Basically a 2 x 4 frame with 1/2 wire mesh.
It serves two purposes for us.
We lay the pecans on the rack to allow drying from both sides.

And after they are dried we put a large fan underneath the frame so it is blowing the air upwards.
This allows us to cull out all the light pecans (dried up or with little meat)
The bad ones will practically lift into the air as we run our hands through the pecans.

Its primitive but works great.

Our trees are loaded this year but so far it doesn't look as though we have a good crop. In fact, its the first time they've put out since hurricane Ivan.
I suspect they've survived the stress of Ivan now, but we had such a drought earlier this year.

RE: Harvesting Pecans

We are getting lots of pecans, just fallen from the tree, green to drak brown in color. The husks are still tight to the nut, not releasing after storage in paper bags. Perhaps we should spread them out to allow more moisture to evaporate and to allow the husk to dry out and fall off. This is our first year for such collections and we are mystified

RE: Harvesting Pecans

Pecans should readily separate from the husk. If they don't, then they probably spontaneously aborted from the tree because they are diseased. Look for the husks to turn a pale yellowish color and then to crack along the suture lines. At that point, the nuts are mature.


RE: Harvesting Pecans

I would like to know if there is anyway of 'catching' the pecans before they hit the ground, my mother has a pecan orchard, however she is one person and the deer are many.

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