Pecan Trees

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MO_cows

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Planted some pecan seedlings this spring. Got them thru the Missouri Dept of Conservation. They are supposed to be native species. I googled the scientific name (Carya illinoensis), and read thru a bunch of stuff. The info is conflicting, it shows 4 years one place and 20 years another to get pecans. Can anybody narrow it down more than that??
 

Arnold Ziffle

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Starting with the native seedlings I'm afraid it's going to be closer to the 20 year mark than to 4 years. Every tree is different, and I've seen some native trees put out a small crop at about the mid-range. Also, remember that they don't reproduce "true", so you could plant 10 seedlings and eventually have a lot of variation in what kind and quality of nuts they produce, but most will be small nuts, not like the big "grafted" tree nuts. Of course, if you can make sure they are always adequately watered and fertilized you can no doubt shorten the time to get decent production as compared to trees left to fend for themselves against drought, pests, etc. Once your seedlings get a good foothold you'll get production a lot sooner via grafting. There's a bit of an art to successfully grafting pecans but I found it to be pretty easy and got good results even my first year doing it. Gook luck.
 

Lammie

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All Dad's pecan trees were grafted. I have noticed that they take a long time to mature.
 
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MO_cows

MO_cows

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We planted 10, and they all leafed out. Sounds like I better buy a couple of grafted trees from the garden catalog to get pecans sooner. Couldn't find any pecan trees at all in our area, looked at a bunch of places that had fruit trees but none had nut trees. I will do some reading up on grafting but I don't have much skill or luck with "advanced gardening". Thanks for the info.
 

1982vett

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MO_cows":3o2cvxam said:
We planted 10, and they all leafed out. Sounds like I better buy a couple of grafted trees from the garden catalog to get pecans sooner. Couldn't find any pecan trees at all in our area, looked at a bunch of places that had fruit trees but none had nut trees. I will do some reading up on grafting but I don't have much skill or luck with "advanced gardening". Thanks for the info.
Look for them in early spring in the lawn and garden centers. Bare roots in late winter and potted in early spring.
 

grannysoo

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Nobody plants seedlings around here and expects to produce pecans. All of the trees that we use and everyone else uses are grafted. Depending on the age that you buy them, it's going to take several years for them to start producing.
 

Fred

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I would go to a nursery and buy the varieties recommended for your area. Some varieties can bear at a young age. I know the variety Candy bears at an early age.Also, follow the fertilization plan to boost it along.
 
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MO_cows

MO_cows

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I already looked at every place I am willing to drive to. Fruit trees galore, but no nut trees. I will order a couple of grafted trees out of the Stark Bros. catalog for fall planting. The bundle of 25 seedlings from the conservation dept. was dirt cheap. Tried to save a buck and as usual it backfired.
 
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Mo_cows...
I've planted pecan trees the past 4 years (normally 4-6 each year) and have only found them after the first hard freeze. "From my understanding," most growers won't dig 'em up for resale till after a hard freeze meaning this may be why they're impossible to find now?
Each winter though, I have found them for sale and have even noticed if I waited till spring, the ones left over were not very desirable.
It may be difficult to plant in the winter but personally I believe planting them is easier than other trees due to the single tap root (as compared to a root ball).
Good Luck...
 
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MO_cows

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Well they will be in good company with the dozen or so old, gnarly p!ss elms that were around the house when we bought this place. We can have a bonfire every time the wind blows as it is.

We like pecans but not paying $8 a pound for them. Somewhere I read that a mature tree produces 200 pounds. Maybe we can make a few bucks in our old age, sittin' on the front porch, rocking and shelling pecans........
 

Jogeephus

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I use the blow down for barbque wood. Seems I have an endless supply. It cooks good. Little cooler than oak but I like the taste.

Have a seedling by the barn. I think its 10 years old. Can't remember when it started bearing nuts but it sure drops them now.

Buyers will dock you some on seedlings. Of course they dock me on every variety I have so its no big deal.
 

Lucky_P

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Arnold Z was pretty much dead on - seedling pecans will generally take somewhere between 10-20 years to start producing nuts - grafted trees, in about half that time. With grafted trees, nut size/shape/quality are a known entity, but with seedlings, it's a genetic crap shoot - some will be better than others.

While Womack's is a good, reputable pecan nursery, I'd shy away from them as a source of grafted trees for most of MO - coming out of TX, the rootstock will be southern pecan, and may not be reliably winter-hardy for you. You'd hate to invest several years growing out grafted trees and have a particularly hard freeze kill the rootstock back to the ground(I've seen it happen), even though the grafted top was a variety that was cold-hardy enough.
Starks has a few grafted varieties - probably grown at Forrest Keeling Nursery, in Elsberry MO(look up the FKN website - they used to have a wider selection than Starks offered, and you might be as well off going right to the source.). Nolin River Nut Tree Nursery, in Upton, KY also has a good selection of northern/midwestern pecans(and other nut trees) - on northern-adapted rootstocks.

Once your MDC seedlings get established, you can graft them over to good varieties that are proven producers in your area - MU has an Agroforestry Center at New Franklin, where they're trialing a number of northern pecan & hickory selections, as well as walnuts & chestnuts - those folks can recommend proven producers, and may be able to supply scionwood for grafting.

Good luck with 'em.
 

farmwriter

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On a related note, we have some really old trees on our place that hardly ever make anymore, but a couple years back everybody in my neck of the woods had pecans, including our old trees. Me and hubby picked em up and took them to be cracked, but we're inexperienced and the picking out was slow going.
My MIL, a product of the depression if ever there was one, called daily to see if we were finished. I went out of town for a few days and when I got back she had picked out every pecan, bagged and labeled, and put them in the freezer for me. If that's not love, I don't know what is.
 

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