How do pecan trees reproduce

Can You Grow A Pecan Tree from a Pecan Nut? – Perfect Plants Nursery

A viable pecan seed (the nut) is the product of cross pollination (sexual reproduction) between two pecan trees. It has a genetic makeup that is different from either parent, and the potential to grow into a pecan tree that differs in unpredictable ways from either parent.

If you want to grow a pecan tree with the characteristics of a particular variety, you must use a clone of that variety. Oconee Pecan Tree – A type 1 pollinator is native to the moist bottom lands of the southeastern United States
This is typically accomplished by grafting a cutting (called a scion) of the desired variety onto a growing and well rooted seedling (the rootstock) of any pecan type. The scion has the exact same genotype as the tree from which it was cut, and is therefore a clone of that tree and will have the exact same characteristics.

A grafted tree, in a five gallon pot such as the trees offered by Perfect Plants Nursery, will start producing pecans in 3-5 years. You can compare pecan variety types here.

Of course, you CAN grow a pecan tree from pecan nut. That’s how commercial growers get their rootstocks, and it’s also how new and different pecan varieties are discovered.

Most Popular Pecan Trees

Not only that, the fun and educational experience of growing a tree from a seed cannot be denied. Starting from seed will take considerably longer to get a mature, bearing pecan tree, though.

What the ground looks like after pecans fall and right before they get buried and go through the stratification process if they do not get picked up.
Pecan nuts would ordinarily fall to the ground in autumn and get buried by natural processes such as liter-fall or rodents. The seed would then lie dormant through the winter (a process called stratification), and germinate the following spring.

We can simulate the natural stratification process indoors while protecting the seeds from decay and hungry critters.

Pecans are able to be grown in USDA plant hardiness zones 6-9 and prefer the warmer climates of the South.

Here’s How to Grow a Tree from a Pecan Nut:

Gather mature, intact pecan nuts in fall after the hulls have turned from green to brown. Shake the nuts off the tree rather than gathering them from the ground to avoid nuts already attacked by fungi or insects. Use a sharp knife to cut the hulls off of the nuts. Store the nuts in a plastic bag for 30 to 90 days at 37-44°F (3-5°C). An ordinary refrigerator works just fine. Soaking the nuts can quicken the stratification process.
Place a damp paper towel, saw dust, peat moss, or some wetted sand in the bag to keep the nuts from drying out. Some northern pecan growing states even start the soaking process now.

In early spring, the seeds should be removed from cold storage and held at 68-86°F (20-30°C) for another week or two, and then soaked in water for a couple days. The seeds will begin to split open after soaking and are then ready for planting. The tree is ready to plat once it cracks open
Pecan trees have long tap roots, so it is best to plant the seeds in the ground where you want the tree to be.

If you do start with pots, use deep, two-gallon nursery pots, since the root can grow as much as a foot downward before the top even emerges from the soil. Use a potting mix of half loam and half sand. Sow the seeds 3-4” deep. By the following spring, the seedlings should be about a foot tall. It will take 5-10 years before it starts producing nuts.

Good luck and happy planting!

Check out the Pecan Grow Guide, How to Increase Nut Production, How Many Pecan Trees per Acre blogs for more information on how to grow pecans.

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The pecan tree carya illioensis, is very popular in landscaping and is also known for its great source of nuts. The pecan tree is a member of the walnut family and is in the hickory group. You will find pecan trees near river and creek bottoms where the soil is deep, fertile, well drained and you will find them in soils that have substantial water-holding capacity. These trees are native to the South and Southeast United States mainly in Oklahoma, Mississippi and Texas. The Pecan tree is also the Texas State tree and is capable growing in all 150 counties in Texas. The nuts are harvested as they fall to the ground from September to December.

In this article I will explain to you how to be a successful pecan tree grower by showing you first, the different ways to establish a tree, secondly, some different varieties of pecan trees, and thirdly, I will describe to you how to care for your new pecan tree.

Since pecan trees will not reproduce directly from seed, growers need grow seedlings by asexual means, which is very easy and quite satisfying. There are three ways to successfully establish a pecan tree: (1) plant the nut directly into the orchard and then topwork the resulting seedlings into your desired cultivar, (2) plant nursery seedling trees and then topwork on the desired cultivar, (3) plant an already grafted tree from the nursery or graft your desired cultivar onto your established rootstock.

Starting With Nuts

Starting pecan trees with nuts is the least expensive but requires the longest time to grow large enough to produce nuts. Starting trees from direct planted nuts requires soils with large water availibility, transplanting nursery trees will not be very sucessful in these areas. The nuts that you gather should be mature and insect free. The nuts can be directly planted into the ground in the fall but it is not recommended because of insect vand rodent damage, it is better to stratify the nuts and then plant them in the spring. Seedlings will grow fairly slowly the first two to three years, but will develop a good solid rooting system with in the time period.

Starting With Seedling Trees

Nursery trees come in three types: container grown, bare root and large tree transplants. When purchasing a tree from a nursery avoid trees that look like they have been subject to excessive heat, drying or freezing. Avoid all "bargain buys. " Bare root trees are the most common, they can be difficult to grow and need to be carefully handled. Try to look for trees that are in between four and eight feet tall. Make sure that when transplanting them you protect there roots form drying and freezing. Container grown trees are smaller and can be planted anytime and are less picky than the bare root trees. Large tree planting is very expensive and requires really fertile "perfect" soil to grow.

Grafting Desired Varieties

Grafting your desired variety is the fastest way to get your pecan tree into production. I will describe three different methods is which you can achieve different varieties onto your original rootstock: (1) bark grafting, (2) patch budding, (3) whip and tongue grafting.

(1) Bark Grafting: By grafting a shoot containing buds from your desirable tree you can turn a tree that is not very productive into a tree that with in a short time will be bearing a heavy load of nuts. This type of grafting technique involves cutting off most of top of the original tree and then grafting on the new desirable graft wood and watching the tree produce and new top. First saw off the limb of your tree straight across. Second, cut a slit into the bark on the rootstock that is big enough to accomadate your scion. Choose a scion that is cut straight and contains no more than 2 or 3 buds on it. Thirdly, line up the two cambiums of the rootstock and the scion making sure that it is a smooth fit. Lastly wrap up the exposed area with tape and then place a poly bag over the top of it to keep moisture in. With in about three weeks a sucessful graft will begin its growth. Make sure to properly care for your newly grafted bark graft.

(2) Patch Budding: Patch budding is very effective on smaller tree branches with a diameter of 3/8 to 1 ½ inch. This type of propagation is used in the early spring to late summer. Budwood is collected the previous year and is kept dormant in a cold storage until spring when it is used. A good way to get your budwood to "slip" easier is to remove it from your cold strorage 4 to 5 days prior to your usage. Make a double cut in the budwood, raise the piece off and place the desireable bud into the place, which has just been cut. Wrap and seal the bud with plastic budding tape allowing the bud to stick out. With in about 2 to 3 weeks you will start seeing your results. Make sure to remove the wrappings if they do not fall off when the wound has healed.

(3) Whip And Tongue Graft: Also known as the splice and tongue graft, this type of propagation is well adapted to small seedling pecan trees or branches of larger developed trees. The most effective time for this graft is from February to April before the growing season begins. Use a dormant scion that is the same diameter as the rootstock is which you are applying on. A preferable size would be 3/8 or ¾ inch in diameter. Each scion should contain no more than two or three buds and be about six inches long. First step is to make a sloping, straight cut in both the scion and the rootstock. The face of the cut should be about two to three inches long. To make the "tongue," cut about 1/3 of an inch from the tip and press the knife slowly downward about 2/3 the length of the bevel cut. Slide the scion and the rootstock together lining the cambium layers up, cuts that are made perfect will appear as one. Wrap the connection tightly with special grafting tape. In a few weeks if your graft took there will be visible growth at the end of your tree. Remember to keep a good eye on your graft and remove native sprouts and remove the take after the graft is complete.

Patch Budding Whip and Tongue

Bark Graft

Varieties of Pecan Trees

The over all goal of picking a pecan tree is looking for a variety that has good disease resistance. I will name and describe a few varieties from both Mississippi and from Texas.


-Cape fear- this variety has bright kernels and a very high productivity rate. It is scab resistant but is susceptible to severe leaf scorch.

-Forkert- produces a high-quality nut with a high percent kernel weight. The nut is thin-shelled and is good for production. Forkert is susceptible to scab and is a very good home pecan.

-Owens-has large, well-defined nuts and moderate production. These nuts are thick shelled and the tree is scab resistant and has done well all through out Mississippi.


-Desirable-this variety is found in humid areas in east and south Texas. The tree grows fast and requires 8 to 10 years of bear nuts. It has a weak V limb angles and requires adequate training. Desirable is not a heavy bearer of nuts, but is an older tree that produce good high quality pecans.

-Western-can grow and bear nuts with less management than any other variety in the far west. This tree is strong, easy to train and is productive. Very susceptible to scab disease and should be only grown in western Texas.

-Sioux-is an outstanding yard tree because it is strong, easy to train limbs and it has a very high-quality small nut. It is moderately scab resistant and should be sprayed with a fungicide spray.

-Wichita- is the most productive pecan grown in Texas and is well adapted to central and west Texas. It has a serious scab problem in humid areas and will freeze in the north.

Vigorous production occurs in only 5-7 years. This variety also develops the V limb angle and will split if not trained properly.

How To Care For Your Newly Propagated Pecan Tree

Spacing: Pecan trees can grow into large trees with massive root systems. Spacing them is very important in having successful growth. Trees should be planted no closer than 35 feet. Trees that are close develop unattractive shapes and as crowding occurs nut production decreases.

Training and Shaping: Grafted pecan trees need to be trained in order to develop a single trunk with a wide-angle branch. If you dont properly train your tree weak narrow "V" limbs can form. These narrow weak crotches can split to heavy nut production or just by the weight of ice. Young trees grow fast and it is very important to remove external leaders and do a little heading back.

Irrigation: Watering properly is essential for the survival of pecan trees. Trees should be watered immediately after transplanting. Water at least every week for the first two months after you see growth. Water just enough to keep the soils moist.

Now that you know how to be a successful pecan tree grower, go out and give it a shot, its not as tough as you probably thought is was.


Parker. "Pecan Production." World Wide Web. 1991. 15 Apr.1999.

Lipe, John. "Home Fruit Production-Pecans." World Wide Web. Extension/homefruit/pecan/html. 15 Apr. 1999.

Herrera, Esteban. "Caring for Pecan Trees After Transplanting." World Wide Web. 17 Apr. 1999.

Trait, Nichola. "The Pecan Tree." World Wide Web. html 17 Apr. 1999.

Pecan: planting and care, photo

Pecan is an exotic tree in our area, native to North America. Today, pecans are successfully growing in Central Asia, the Crimea and some regions of Russia.

Common pecan or Illinois hazel belongs to the genus Hickory and the Nut family. It is similar to walnuts in many ways. Under favorable conditions, lives up to four hundred years. The height of the pecan reaches sixty meters, and its crown, wide and sprawling, has a diameter of up to four meters. The trunk of the tree is straight, covered with slightly cracked light brown bark. In adult specimens, the trunk can reach a width of up to three meters. Pecan leaves are large, lanceolate in shape with a dense structure and a smooth surface. The fruits are edible. They have an oblong shape up to eight centimeters long and up to three centimeters wide. Nuts are collected in bunches of a maximum of eleven fruits. Exotic nut kernels have a sweet taste and high calorie content. Fruit ripening occurs in mid-September.


Pecan is a hardy plant. Some of its species safely withstand fairly low temperatures, can tolerate drought and infertile soil well.

The most popular varieties of Pecan are:

  • textan;
  • success;
  • indiana;
  • major;
  • stuart;
  • greenriver.

Walnut of this type has a lot of useful properties. Its wood, due to its high quality characteristics, is used in the furniture industry. The fruits are used in the food industry, medicine and cosmetology. Walnut kernels are highly nutritious, so they are used as food for loss of appetite, loss of strength and fatigue. Just a few nuclei are enough to replenish the body with nutrients, because they also contain a lot of useful elements (potassium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, magnesium, calcium and a whole group of vitamins). In the food industry, nut butter is made from Pecan fruits, which is almost as good as olive oil in terms of taste and useful properties.

Due to the content of a significant amount of useful elements and a whole complex of vitamins, walnut fruits are used in medicine. Today, science notes the beneficial effects of pecans in the treatment of cancer.

Walnut oil is used for colds, headaches, strengthening the immune system. It is also used in the form of lotions and compresses in the treatment of sunburn, irritation, insect bites.

In addition, the oil perfectly nourishes the skin. Therefore, it is recommended to rub it into the skin to nourish it.

But despite such a large number of useful properties, wood is not widely used in our region. And this is primarily due to the lack of knowledge on how to grow Pecan.

Pecan (Illinois hazel) belongs to unpretentious plants. Perhaps the most important condition for its cultivation will be the correct determination of the landing site. The tree belongs to centenarians, which are characterized by large growth (50-60 meters) and an extensive crown. Therefore, when planting seedlings, this feature must be taken into account.

Pecan can be planted as a seedling purchased from specialized crop farms, or grown independently, since the nut has a good ability to propagate using seeds or vegetatively.

And so, you can get an adult tree on your own using the following propagation methods:

  • cuttings;
  • rootstock;
  • budding;
  • grow from seeds.

Consider the seed method. Ripe walnut fruits that have fallen off on their own are taken as planting material. They can be planted in both autumn and spring.

Autumn planting is carried out as follows. Holes are prepared in the soil about ten centimeters deep, nuts are planted in them, watered and sprinkled with earth. Shoots appear in spring. It should be noted that planting seeds before winter gives good results, in spring the germination rate reaches almost one hundred percent, and the seedlings are strong and viable.

In order to carry out spring planting, a number of preparatory measures must be taken. Nuts need to be stratified. To do this, they are kept for two days in cool water, and then placed in wet sawdust and left in a cool place for two months, moistening periodically. Then they are brought into the room, and in the spring, in mid-April, they are planted in open ground.

In order for seedlings to grow and develop well, they must be planted in a well-lit place, and the soil must be fertilized with compost before planting.

Pecan grows quite slowly. Therefore, for the first three years, it can not be transplanted to a permanent place, but grown in the same place where the seeds were planted. At the initial stage, seedlings form a root. Therefore, the increase in plant size is negligible. By the age of three, a walnut seedling grows only up to half a meter. Now you can continue growing in a permanent place. Trees are planted in planting pits, the size of which should be at least sixty centimeters in depth and width. In order to achieve neutrality, a little lime and compost are added to the ground for nutrition. Then a walnut tree is carefully planted in the hole, while leveling its roots. Soil is sprinkled on top, compacted a little and watered well. It is recommended to mulch the soil around the seedling with peat. In order for the trees to take root faster and begin to actively grow, they need to be watered and fed regularly.

In spring, the walnut needs nitrogen fertilizers. And in the fall, you need to feed the pecan with phosphorus and potassium. This applies to young trees, and adult specimens that have been growing for more than twenty-five years need to be fed with potassium salt, saltpeter, superphosphate.

Pecan care, in addition to watering and fertilizing, should also include care for its crown. With the onset of spring, it is necessary to carry out sanitary and formative pruning, removing dry and damaged branches.

With proper care, a self-grown walnut from seeds begins to bear fruit no earlier than ten years later.

Early fruiting, at the age of four or five years, can be achieved if Pecans are grown by grafting or budding. But these methods of reproduction require a little more knowledge and skills, so most often gardeners use either the seed method of reproduction or acquire already quite adult seedlings at the age of three to five years.

The walnut has a strong immunity, and it is not afraid of almost any garden pests and diseases. Under favorable growing conditions and sufficient space, this specimen will bear a fairly large number of fruits (an adult tree can produce up to two hundred kilograms of nuts) up to the age of three hundred.

where it grows, how to grow a nut, photo of common pecan

Botanical name: Common pecan or Illinois hazel (Carya illinoinensis). Representative of the genus Hickory, Nut family. A close relative of the walnut.

Pecan native: North America.

Lighting: sun, partial shade.

Soil: deep, loose, drained, fertile.

Watering: plentiful.

Maximum tree height: 60 m.

Average life expectancy: 300-400 years.

Planting: by seed, vegetatively.

Pecan is a tall deciduous tree, reaching up to 40-60 m. The crown is wide, sprawling, hip-shaped, up to 40 m in diameter. The trunk is straight, 2-3 m in diameter, covered with gray-brown fissured bark. The kidneys are pubescent, yellow. Shoots are brown, first pubescent, then glabrous. The leaves are large, about 50 cm long, bright green, alternate, pinnate, consist of several opposite, oblong-lanceolate leaves. The leaf plate is smooth, shiny, dense. Flowers male and female. Male - drooping, multi-flowered catkins, formed in the axils of the leaves and at the base of the shoots of the current year. Female - sessile, collected in spikelet inflorescences of 3 - 10 pieces. Formed at the ends of young shoots. In a warm climate, flowering lasts from May to June. Pollination occurs mainly with the help of the wind, so the proximity of other trees is necessary for the ovary.

The fruits are oblong, false drupes 6-8 cm long, 2.5-3 cm wide, weighing 15-20 g. Collected in bundles of 3-11 pieces. The stone (nut) is oval in shape, with a pointed top, 2 cm long. The surface of the nut is smooth, shiny, ribbed, slightly wrinkled, brown. Inside contains an edible oily kernel of a sweetish taste, shaped like a walnut kernel, but differing from its congener by the absence of partitions and smoother convolutions. Pecan ripens in September-October. Ripe fruits immediately fall off the tree.

Fruiting is plentiful, annual, with the seed method of reproduction occurs at 9-11 years. Grafted trees begin fruiting 4-5 years after planting. One young plant brings up to 5 kg of fruit, an adult - up to 15 kg. Old individuals yield up to 200 kg of nuts. The average lifespan of a pecan is 300 years.

Distribution of the pecan

Not everyone knows where the pecan grows, because this crop is little known in Russia. The distribution of the pecan nut came from North America, where its fruits were eaten by the ancient tribes of the Indians. Today, the largest plantings of this plant are in the southeast of the United States and in Central Asia, from where its fruits are exported to other countries. On the territory of our state, Illinois hazel is grown only in the Crimea and the Caucasus. Has no industrial value.

In the wild grows on deep fertile alluvial loose well-moistened soils.

Pecan is a warm and light-loving plant of the tropics, however, some of its varieties are quite resistant to frost, which makes it possible to grow a tree in the northern regions. Young individuals are able to withstand cold down to -30 ° C.

Currently, about 150 varieties of common pecan have been bred.

The most suitable for landing in Russia are:

Photo gallery

Cultivation and propagation of pecans

Illinois hazel is undemanding to growing conditions. Many of its varieties are characterized by cold resistance, good drought resistance, low demands on soil content, and regular fruiting. Despite all these advantages, this valuable crop is a rarity in the home gardens of Russian gardeners, since not everyone knows how to grow pecans. Meanwhile, the technology of growing pecans is similar to growing walnuts.

Pecans are propagated by seeds, grafting, cuttings, budding. Seeds are harvested in autumn after ripening, then immediately sown in the ground, or stratified within 2-3 months before spring sowing. Before this, beds with furrows are prepared. The seeding depth should be at least 7 cm. 15-20 seeds are sown per 1 m. After planting, the ridge is watered and covered with a layer of mulch. Shoots will appear in a month. Care of young plants consists in regular removal of weeds, watering, loosening the soil. In the early years, the growth of pecans is slow. In a year in good conditions, seedlings grow up to 20-30 cm, by 2-3 years - up to 50 cm. Developed, strong seedlings are transplanted to a permanent place at the age of one, small or weak ones are left in the same place up to 2, 3 years. When caring for a young tree, it is important to constantly provide moisture to the roots and feed them with fertilizers.

You can grow pecans in a greenhouse or conservatory. To transplant a grown seedling, take a large pot or wooden box. Exotic care at home is carried out in the same way as for other tropical plants, that is, regular watering is carried out, the crown is sprayed, and top dressing is applied. It should be borne in mind that hazel needs a cool dormant period, therefore, from November to March, the tree is kept at a temperature of 8-12 ° C. The volume of watering at this time is reduced.

It is more difficult to grow pecans from seedlings, because the seedlings of this plant are very sensitive and often die if the root system is damaged.

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