Pecan Tree: Where To Grow, How To ID, Care For Pecan Trees Maximize Harvest

Woman looking at a Pecan tree and wondering how to grow pecan trees and how to identify pecan tree leaves, pecan nuts, bark, flowers and how to care for pecan saplings when rowing pecan trees.

The Pecan Tree is especially important to the United States.

Did you know that not only are Pecan nuts considered a fruit, but are one of the few edible nuts native to the United States?

According to the United States Department of Agriculture,1 Pine nuts, Acorns, and Black Walnuts are native to the Americas. However, the Pecan nut was especially easier to obtain, shell, and eat, which quickly found favor.

The Pecan varieties that are grown at Pecan Tree farms or orchards are possible for your backyard too. But keep in mind that Pecan Trees are known to be one of the messy types of trees.

This complete guide explains everything you need to know about Pecan trees if you’re looking to add a harvest to your backyard.

Pecan Tree; Illinois Nuts

(Carya illinoinensis)

Graphic of Pecan Tree with close up view of Pecan Tree fruit and leaves inside of green oval boarder.
  • Family: Juglandaceae
  • Genus: Carya
  • Leaf: Sickle-shaped with a feathery design with several leaflets on each stem
  • Bark: Brown or gray, depending on the age of the pecan tree
  • Seed: Reddish-brown oval shaped
  • Blossoms: Catkin and Nutlets
  • Fruit: Pecan nut in the middle of a husk
  • Native Habitat: Mexico, Central, and Southeastern United States
  • Height: 70-100 feet
  • Canopy: Round or oval upright spreading of branches
  • Type: Deciduous
  • Native Growing Zone: 5-9

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Ranking

Least Concern


Image Credit: DavidJara27

Pecan Tree Facts: What is Pecan Tree Sap?

From Pecan Tree falling leaves, flowers, and even “falling sap,” these trees require some maintenance and season clean up.

When asking where to grow a Pecan tree, before planting this tree, contemplate where your lawn chairs, patio furniture, and vehicle will be located.

The tree drips a sticky solution, but it doesn’t come from the bark or the leaves. The sap is called honeydew, or aphid pooh.

This honeydew is not good for your vehicle paint job and is a hassle to remove.

And since it’s no fin asking, “How to get tree sap off car?” Finding the right spot for your tree is the best way to begin.

The headache of using a scrub brush with diluted rubbing alcohol, or WD-40, can be avoided.

Pecan Trees have been around for thousands of years, primarily in the southern region of the United States.

But planting a very large tree that will live for centuries in your backyard requires some know-how to ensure that it thrives.

Pecan Tree Identification: How To Identify Pecan Tree

The large Pecan Tree can be confused with some other species. The Pecan Tree is part of the Juglandaceae family.

As a Carya genus and in the same family as the Hickory Tree, the Pecan Tree is the tallest in the Canya lineage.

Graphic of Pecan Tree identification showing a full Pecan Tree and a description on how to identify Pecan leaves, flowers, seeds, and bark.

If a young tree has not grown any Pecan nuts, the feathered leaves with several leaflets are a major distinctive Pecan Tree identification.

Although there are over 1,000 different types of Pecan nut varieties, the location, and height will help in distinguishing the Pecan Tree. This tree must have humidity and enjoys being aligned by rivers and streams.

Use Pictures of Pecan Trees To Help Identify Each Variation

Recognizing the Pecan Tree by the parts of a tree helps. But you can use pictures of Pecan Trees to help identify each variation with an expert.

Contacting your local nursery to help you identify what is the best Pecan Tree to start a small orchard in your backyard is recommended.

What Does Pecan Tree Look Like in the Springtime?

After the last day of the freeze of the winter season and the beginning of Spring, the flowing green leaves are coming in. The long male string of buds called Catkin begins to multiply as the spring moves forward on a mature Pecan Tree.

Pecan Tree Symbolism

The Pecan Tree and Pecan nuts nourished the Native Americans for centuries. The word “Pecan” was created by the Algonquin tribe.

The pecan meaning is “all nuts requiring a stone to crack,”

A Pecan Tree symbolizes survival, longevity, and abundance across many spiritual beliefs, which is why Texas adopted it as its state tree.

Types of Pecan Trees

Pecan varieties and which to plant are based on your location. The quality of your soil and weather conditions matter.

Having knowledge of the parts of the tree and the different types of pecan trees is the first step.

According to the University of Florida,2 there are over 500 cultivars of the Carya specie. But each Pecan Tree has the following characteristics:

Pecan Tree Leaves Identification

When leaves return in the Spring, they are green and preparing for the male buds to come back for the Spring season. Each leaf has approximately 7-12 leaflets.

Graphic of Pecan Tree leaves identification showing how to identify Pecan Tree leaves.

Gold or yellow leaves appear in the fall.

Pecan Tree Flower

The flowers are Catkin and Nutlets. The flowers are considered unisexual for their role of preparing the Pecan Tree to bear fruit, the Pecan nut.

The Catkin (male) blooms in Spring. The female flowers, the Nutlets, come back in full force in the summertime for cross-pollination and prepare for the fall Pecans to harvest.

Pecan Tree Bark

A young Pecan Tree bark is often identified as a brown color. The bark changes to a gray and scaly bark as it matures.

Pecan Tree Seeds

Seeds are reddish-brown and fall off of its Pecan Tree in the winter. What’s unique about the Pecan Tree seeds, the next tree grown from the seed will not be identical to its parent tree.

Pecan Tree seeds are considered not true to type.

Pecan Varieties

Because Pecan Trees cannot grow true to type, there are more than 500 cultivars and over 1,000 Pecan nut varieties. For a fairly large backyard, it is often recommended to plant a minimum of two Pecan Trees that will thrive in your location.

The following Pecan varieties in the Pecan Tree family are often grown in residential backyards depending on the growing zone:

Pawnee Pecan Trees

A Texas-grown Pecan Tree, the Pawnee Pecan Tree, is one the most popular nut trees planted in residential yards. It is considered a Type 1 pollinator and harvests nuts in September or October, depending on the location.

Eye level view of a Pecan Tree showing its large canopy at the park.

(Image: Keithimus15)

The growth rate for the Pawnee Pecan Trees is considered medium. It grows 13-24 inches per year and can get up to 130 feet.

However, Pawnee Pecan Trees are popular for their rapid growth of pecan nuts and can complete their growth at 30 feet.

Close up view on the bark of a Pecan Tree with wide canopy of green leaves.

(Image: JMK16)

Elliot Pecan Tree

The Elliot Pecan Tree is often chosen for backyards because it’s Pecan scab resistant. The Pecan scab is a fungal disease that the Elliot Pecan Tree has no issue with being plagued with.

The Elliot Pecan Tree is a Type 2 pollinator.

Similar to the Pawnee Pecan Trees, the Elliot Pecan Tree has a medium growth rate. It grows 13-24 inches per year.

However, this tree will grow much taller on your small Pecan Tree farm.

Northern Pecan Tree

The Northern Pecan Tree is native to southern Wisconsin. This Pecan Tree is known for growing buttery Pecan nut for the Pecan enthusiast.

However, although you may have heard it is self-pollinating, it needs partners to cultivate its baby Pecan Trees.

Pecan Trees growing in the road side of a park showing its lush green leaves.

(Image: James St. John17)

This Pecan Tree growth rate is medium. It can grow up to 24 inches in one year.

However, the Northern Pecan Tree grows very large, from 70-100 feet.

Pecan Tree growing on a park near a body of water.

(Image: Seqqis18)

Papershell Pecan Tree

The Papershell Pecan Tree is the easiest shell to break. Hence, the name “Papershell” this Pecan nut is sweet in taste.

However, it is slow growing. It will take 15-20 years for this Papershell Pecan Tree to bear fruit.

Depending on the location, this growth rate to bear fruit can be as soon as six years. However, the growth rate for the tree itself, like its Carya genus cousins, the Papershell Pecan Tree grows 1-2 feet per year.

The popular Stuart Pecan nut is from the Papershell Pecan Tree. There are several Papershell Pecan nut varieties, including the Cheyenne and Mohawk Pecans.

Hickory Tree

Many who are at the beginning of learning about Pecan Trees is surprised to discover that the Hickory Tree is a Pecan nut tree. The Hickory Tree is in the Walnut family that is known as Juglandaceae.

Yellow colored leaves from Hickory Tree growing in the park with other trees.

(Image: Rachel Blevins, Virginia State Parks19)

However, there are several Hickory Trees with different surnames under the Carya genus.

Although other hickory trees have stronger dense wood, this Hickory Tree bears a hard shell and thin Pecan nuts. This Hickory Tree has a slow growth rate of up to one foot a year.

The first fruits of Pecan nuts may appear in 10-15 years.

Wide view of Black Walnut Tree in the middle of a park, with wide canopy of green leaves.

(Image: Horst J. Meuter20)

Black Walnut Tree

The Black Walnut Tree is often confused with a Pecan Tree. To be fair, they are in the same Juglandaceae family.

Black Walnuts are not the same as Pecan nuts.

Their appearance is slightly different. The Black Walnut is often described as looking like a brain because of its shape and two hemispheres.

Black Walnut Trees are smaller in height than Pecan Trees. Depending on where the black walnut tree is grown, the average height is 75 feet.

They do not require any assistance from another tree to pollinate.

Pecan Tree Growth Rate

The average Pecan growth rate is 1-2 feet per year.

Unlike the Cashew nut, it takes a minimum of 10 years for the Pecan Tree to bear fruit.

Graphic of Pecan Tree Growth Rate showing the growth rate of Pecan Trees from year 1 up to year 15 and beyond.

Cashews begin bearing large amounts of fruit in year three.

Pecan Tree Growing Zone

Unlike some other fruit trees, the Pecan Tree growing zone must have warm nights. These warmer nights are located in the 5-9 Harding Zones.

Pecan Trees tend to have a wider option to where they can grow. However, humidity and warm weather are needed.

The Pecan Tree growing zone 5-9 represents the Northeastern, Southeastern, Midwest, and several parts of the west coast. The following growing zones have rich, well-drained soil with full sun in the Spring and summer:

  • USDA Zone 5: Midwest, Northeastern, Northwestern
  • USDA Zone 6: Midwest, Northeastern, Pacific Northwest
  • USDA Zone 7: Northeastern, Pacific Northwest, Southeast, Southwest
  • USDA Zone 8: Central Texas, Coastal Virginia, and the southern states
  • USDA Zone 9: W. California; Central Florida; Southern Louisiana and Texas

Although humid and warm weather is ideal for growing Pecan Tree or many homeowners delicious shade tree, they do enjoy cool winters. Some green thumb enthusiasts prefer planting trees and plants in the cool winter months.

According to Louisiana State University-College of Agriculture,3 planting a Pecan Tree in the winter allows the tree to develop strong and healthy roots.

Although this may slow down the growth, it will allow the Pecan Tree to grow healthy and ready to bear fruit.

Growing Zones for Pecan Tree Where To Grow

If you have a fairly large yard to plant up to three trees and a minimum of 30 feet away from your home, you’re on a roll. Growing zones for Pecan Tree where to grow is important.

Making sure your growing zone is 5-9 will ensure the proper soil and weather conditions.

But if you live in states that are considered to be in the USDA Growing Zones 1-4, your Pecan Tree will not grow due to not enough sun, poorly drained soil, and extreme weather.

The difference between growing zone 4 and growing zone 5 is only 10 degrees. The growing zone 4 winters are 10 degrees colder than growing zone 5.

Sometimes you’ll hear about certain Pecan Tree farm surviving an unusual frost season. But it is not recommended to grow Pecan Tree in areas known to have below 40 Fahrenheit temperatures in the winter.

Checking with your local nursery or college agricultural extension department can assist you with the best Pecan varieties are best for your location. You can also check the U.S. Department of Agriculture-USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.4

When To Plant Pecan Tree for the Best Yield

Giving your new and young Pecan Tree an opportunity to establish its roots is very important. When to plant Pecan Tree for the best yield is as early as November or December.

Planting your Pecan Tree in the winter with the goal of having a developed root system by spring, will almost guarantee a solid foundation to thrive as a healthy Pecan Tree.

Best Growing Conditions for Pecan Tree

The best growing conditions for Pecan Tree for your personal Pecan farm oasis is with full sun. Also, checking your soil for the best pH for a Pecan Tree to grow its Pecan nut harvest is essential.

According to Clemson University,5 checking the soil pH every 2-3 years to ensure the pH is between 6.0-6.5 is necessary. Soil test kits are available at your favorite nursery or hardwood store.

How To Grow Pecan Tree

Deciding to grow a Pecan Tree requires having excitement for the future, and patience is truly a virtue in the growing process. How to grow Pecan Trees is a longer procedure with a seed vs. a grafted Pecan Tree.

Close up view of Pecan Tree leaves.

(Image: JonRichfield21)

But before exploring the different ways to grow Pecan Tree, checking with your local nursery about which Pecan varieties are perfect for your location is important.

Some Pecan Tree lovers are surprised to learn that Pecan Trees require two to three cultivators for pollination.

Because Pecan Trees are monoecious, meaning they grow male and female flowers on one tree, each Pecan Tree fall into one of the below categories:

  • Type I-Protandrous: When the Catkin (Male flower) blooms first
  • Type II-Protogynous: The Nutles (Female flower) is ready and receptive

When the Nutlets bloom, they are awaiting the Catkin to shed millions of grains to cross-pollinate with the chosen cultivar Pecan Tree.

To ensure your new Pecan Trees grow an abundance of quality Pecan nuts in the future, knowing what are the best combinations of Pecan Tree varieties to cultivate your new small Pecan farm is crucial.

If you decide not to implement an easier method, such as planting or transplanting a 4-5 foot Pecan Tree in your backyard oasis, you have options.

You can plant your Pecan Tree by seed, cutting, seeding or bare root. Here are some of the basic actions required to start your small Pecan Tree farm:

Planting Pecans: Growing a Pecan Tree From a Seed or Pecan Nut

Did you know that the actual Pecan nut is the seed? Growing a Pecan Tree from a seed is directly from the Pecan nut.

Nature organically germinates fallen Pecan nuts with the help of squirrels. The squirrels will eat Pecan nuts but bury several Pecan nuts to ensure plenty of more trees.

The Pecan Tree orchards in certain locations and native Pecan Tree forests along riverbanks receive natural germination with the help of squirrels.

For the novice or Pro Gardener, you may decide to imitate nature’s way of germinating your Pecan Tree; stratifying your seeds involves the following:

  • Make sure to buy or choose Pecan nuts or seeds that are well filled
  • Soak Pecan seed for 24-48 hours
  • Add vermiculite to a poly bag or sandwich bag if recommended
  • Place Pecan seeds in your sandwich bag or poly grow bag refrigerator crisper

If the nut raddles, it’s not a well-filled Pecan nut. Having a well-filled Pecan seed almost ensures that once grown to maturity, the future Pecan kernels will be well-filled.

There is an extensive routine to take care of your new Pecan nut tree.

After ensuring the Pecan seeds are healthy and well-filled, this is the beginning of a healthy and ready to grow Pecan Tree in the making.

Soaking your Pecan seed for 24-48 hours will help to begin the development of the Pecan Tree root a little sooner. You know the stratification was successful when you see the Pecan seed has swelled and split.

The split in the Pecan seed makes room for the root to sprout when ready. However, as long as you soak your Pecan seeds, make sure to change the water every 8 hours.

Soaking your Pecan seed in its own poly bag helps keep in the moisture. Before you place the Pecan seed and bag into your refrigerator, make sure it’s no more than 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

The bag is the safe place for your seed to start growing its shoots.

Close up view of Pecan Tree Fruits.

(Image: Jerry A. Payne, USDA Agricultural Research Service22)

According to Texas A&M University,6 placing your Pecan seeds into a bag with vermiculite or other mulch options will help a young root to spout. This root will grow an ½ per day.

Planting Pecans or Pecan seeds after germination in a container or garden bed may be three to six months in the future. Germination timing varies according to Pecan vaarities, soil, and location.

Placing your newly germinated Pecan seed in a container or garden bed in late November before the warmer months, such as March, is ideal. Planting your seed during the winter months allows your young tree to develop a strong root system.

When you grow Pecan Tree from a seed, is the slowest process compared to planting a young Pecan Tree that is 4-5 feet tall. It is recommended to wait until your new seed is 4-5 feet to graft with the proper pecan varieties.

How To Grow Pecan Tree From Nut

How to grow Pecan Tree from nut is possible with the Pecan kernel. Similar to planting the whole seed, the kernel will grow with proper soil but slowly.

You will need to do the following before planting a Pecan nut kernel:

  • Soak the kernel for a minimum of 24 hours
  • After soaking the kernel, place the Pecan kernel in a container of soil
  • Water once a week or as instructed

The process of planting a Pecan kernel may require more instruction for the region you live in. It may not be recommended to implement this process if a strong root system is impossible to grow to graft with another Pecan Tree later.

Because Pecan Trees are monoecious, pollination is crucial. The help from mother nature makes it possible for the flowing wind to help pollinate the Pecan Tree preparing to grow quality Pecan nuts.

Pecan Trees are wind pollinators that are known to use the Catkin (Male flower/bud) to shed over five million grains. Cross-pollination is a natural method that Pecan Trees organically do to create one new Pecan Tree.

Before you place your Pecan nut kernel in the soil, know which Pecan Tree is best for cross-pollination, such as an Elliot Pecan Tree or a certain variety of Papershell Pecan Tree.

Having this knowledge and planting plan will help your small Pecan Tree farm to thrive and avoid poorly made Pecans or increased chances of a diseased Pecan Tree.

Growing a Pecan Tree From a Seedling or Bare Root

Being several steps ahead of having a full grown Pecan Tree is many nurseries and Pecan home grower goals.

With the help of growing a Pecan Tree from a seeding or bare root is ideal for many Pecan enthusiasts to expect the journey of quality Pecan nuts in four to six years.

However, seeding with the help of some grafting makes four to six years of bearing fruit possible, according to the University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry.7

Also, be sure to remember that choosing a Pecan Tree from a seeding that is 4 inches to 8 inches in height is the easy part.

But knowing which Pecan varieties and how to incorporate Pecan Tree grafting properly is important in the health and ability of your young Pecan Tree to bear fruit in the near future.

Bare root is a great alternative versus starting from the Pecan nut seed. However, a bare root needs to be chosen according to your location, just like the Pecan Tree seed, seeding, and grafting method.

Planting a Pecan bare root ball right away before it goes into shock is necessary. The dug hole must be twice as big or wide as the bare root ball.

Close up view of Pecan Tree seedling.

(Image: Kylelovesyou23)

If you choose the bare root route, get your Pecan Tree root ball into the ground immediately. Planting your Pecan Tree 3 inches deep will allow your tree an opportunity to have a strong root system with the help of the long talbot root.

Each growth procedure of a Pecan Tree involves the quality of the soil, the dormant season before the spring, and pollination by the wind of your location.

But how you care for Pecan Trees maximize harvest for your small yard will vary and must be considered before choosing your best options to grow your Pecan Tree.

Growing a Pecan Tree From a Cutting

Growing a Pecan Tree from a cutting guarantees that you will grow the Pecan varieties cut from your choice of characteristics. Cutting a Pecan Tree is virtually cloning the Pecan Tree you want.

A certain sweet Pecan nut, along with pest resistance, is usually the top choice of desired characteristics for choosing a cutting Pecan Tree.

If you’re not familiar with cutting a Pecan Tree or any tree, getting help from your local university or college agriculture extension is recommended.

If you can easily cut a healthy long Pecan Tree branch, depending on the tree, some may recommend 6-8 inches of a tree branch.

Because growing a Pecan Tree from a cutting skip a vital step in naturally developing a root system first, which creates a hormone called Auxin, the new cutting must be dipped in rooting hormone to ensure a root system grows a minimum of six weeks later.

After you dip the cutting from your chosen Pecan Tree, you will then place your cutting into a container with the best perlite, which helps with the development of the rooting system.

Unlike a Pecan Tree being grown from a seed that ensures a strong root system starting with its foundation, the taproot, a cutting, does not have this option.

Although you will have a mature tree within 6 years that may bear fruit much quicker than a Pecan Tree grown from seed, extra care is required for a Pecan Tree grown from a cutting.

Pecan Tree Grafting as an Alternative

Pecan Tree grafting is also an option. However, some would argue grafting to grow a Pecan Tree might be more difficult.

According to Mississippi State University,8 you need to do the following:

  • Buy or collect young and disease-free Pecan Tree scion wood
  • Cut the scion wood 1 foot from the Pecan Tree bark
  • Cut multiple 6-inch Pecan Tree scion wood and bundle 25 sticks at a time
  • Avoid mold by placing the Pecan Tree sticks into a poly bag with peat moss

The care of your new grafting Pecan Tree is a daily responsibility to get the result you desire. However, Pecan Tree grafting provides several benefits that speed up the future small Pecan farm that you want in your backyard.

But having a knowledgeable local nursery or university agriculture extension department assist you will help you avoid desiccation, a weak understock or scion, and more.

Growth Stages of the Pecan Tree

The growth stages of the Pecan Tree rely on quality soil, full sunlight, and the care of your Pecan Tree. The environment your new Pecan Trees are growing in matters.

The Pecan Tree growing zone with humidity and ideal weather conditions are the foundation of health for your Pecan Tree.

If you chose your Pecan varieties according to your objections, such as disease-free bare root, seeding, Pecan nut seed, or grating methods, are decided.

Close up view of the Pecan Tree sprout from seed.

(Image: Plantman24)

Because the sweet Pecan nut requires a long period of time develops, here are the growth stages of the Pecan Tree to consider when planting:

  • First Stage-Seeding Pecan Trees: Approximately a 2-year growing process
  • Second Stage-Pecan Tree Sapling: Growing wider and height is increasing
  • Third Stage-Young Trunk/Pole Development: Growing stronger for 6 years
  • Fourth Stage-Full Grown Pecan Tree: Mature trees are a minimum of 10 years

The routine of fertilizing Pecan Trees and watering needs for Pecan Tree plants does varies. You may need to modify when to start fertilizing and how often you water if you are in a more humid climate, better soil with rich moisture, etc.

The seeding and growing years usually require several gallons of water to grow a strong root system. If you started growing your Pecan Tree from a seed, the water required is dependent on the soil dryness.

Check the soil and water once a week or bi-weekly, depending on weather conditions and the environment.

However, during the first stage of growth, a minimum of 10 gallons of water daily is needed to help grow your Pecan Tree, according to the University of Arkansas.9

During the second stage of Pecan Tree sapling through the fourth stage, watering needs are dependent on the environment and seasonal temperatures.

How Far Apart To Plant Pecan Tree

As the tallest Hickory family tree, a Pecan Tree can grow over 100 feet and a minimum of 40 feet wide.

Several different Pecan varieties may need more space between each tree, however, a smaller yard would be 30-35 feet apart.

How Much Sunlight Does Pecan Tree Need Each Day?

The Pecan Tree gets its nutrients from the soil and receives full sun. Depending on your location and the seasonal sun.

How much sunlight does Pecan Tree need each day is 6-8 hours of full sun without shade is recommended.

How Long It Takes To Grow Pecan Tree

The types of Pecan Trees, quality of well-drained soil and weekly care of your Pecan Tree will determine how long it takes to grow Pecan Tree. The types of Pecan Tree and varieties matters.

Not all Pecan varieties should graft together. The wrong combination of transplanting your seedlings, Pecan Tree grafting, and your bare root options can create poor-quality trees and Pecan nuts.

Based on the environment, some Pecan cultivars bear fruit in large quantities at 10 years of age. Smaller Pecan nuts may show their beauty four years after planting.

Because Pecan Trees in the Carya Illinoinensis family grow 1-2 feet per year at a minimum can speed up to 3-5 feet per year in growth if provided with proper fertilization, pollination, etc. A 50-foot tree is approximately 20-30 years old.

According to Wikipedia,10 a Pecan Tree grown from grafting can stand 16 feet tall at the age of 10 years old. Heights may vary per age and the quality of care.

Planting Tips for Pecan Tree

Planting tips for Pecan Tree require you to be a little more meticulous compared to growing a peanut plant. Growing a peanut has less maintenance because it grows underground.

But a Pecan Tree is a fruit tree that takes years of quality care to grow and bear fruit; peanuts from the legume family take up to 5 months to harvest.

Giving 100% of your best efforts to plant your Pecan Tree from a nut, seeding from a bare root, cutting, and Pecan Tree grafting, here are some planting tips for Pecan Tree growth:

  • Have a planting location for up to three Pecan Trees
  • Test your soil to ensure a pH of 6.0-7.0
  • The soil must be slightly acidic or neutral soil
  • Nut, seeding, and all planting of Pecan Trees need full sun
  • Plant in the dormant Pecan season between November and February
  • Wet root ball if planting a Pecan bare root before planting
  • Dig a hole of 2 inches deep for seeds and 3 inches deep for bare root
  • Water new seeds, and seedings, once to twice a week

Planting tips for Pecan Tree in your backyard may need modification according to your location and Pecan varieties. However, if you are planting bare root or Pecan Tree seedings, ensure the root system is not dry and keep moist prior to planting.

How Long Does It Take for Pecan Trees To Produce Pecan Nuts?

Depending on your location, a Pecan Tree can begin to bear large amounts of fruit a minimum of five years after planting.

Some regions grow mature Pecan Trees bearing Pecan nuts 10-15 years after planting.

When Do Pecan Trees Produce Nuts?

Once your Pecan Tree is mature and ready to grow Pecans nuts, your tree may grow plenty of Pecans every other year.

When do Pecan Trees produce nuts? In the later months of September or early October, you will find Pecans on your tree and falling to the ground.

The Pecan nuts remain green while hanging on the tree while sharing with several other Pecans in clusters of 2-5. When the Pecan nut splits and turns brown, the shuck covering the Pecan nut will open wider, with the Pecan nut revealing itself.

Close up view of green Pecan Tree fruit with brown spot on some part.

(Image: Martin LaBar25)

The Pecan nut is now completely mature and dry when it can be seen from the shuck. Before you know it, several Pecan nuts are on the ground.

Your harvest is ready to be picked up, and you may feast on your very own Pecan nuts you’ve grown personally.

If you can’t keep up and can’t share all the sweet Pecan nuts enough, you can freeze the Pecan nut kernels, and they will stay fresh for two years, according to Kansas State University.11

How Often Do Pecan Trees Produce Pecan Nuts Each Year?

If you have a small Pecan Tree orchard, bearing Pecan nuts in large crops can be possible if the Pecan Tree is healthy. Some small yards with Pecan Trees can experience alternate bearing.

Alternate bearing with various amounts of Pecan nuts per year. One year may have a large amount of Pecan nuts, and other years small amounts.

Grow Pecan Tree for Food Nutrition

If you love the desert options such as Pecan pie, Pecan brownies, and butter Pecan ice cream, did you know this fruit is a healthy superfood?

The Pecan nut has many benefits, from providing shade food for animals to the human body. The following information will give you more reasons to take the time to sow a Pecan seed or Pecan Tree seeding to get every healthy benefit:

Pecans Nutrition

If you’re not allergic to Pecans, the Pecans nutrition may amaze you. The Pecan nut has the following:

  • Antioxidants
  • Calcium
  • Copper
  • Fiber
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Zinc

With numerous vitamins such as A, B6, B12, and E, eating a hand full of Pecan nuts will add to your daily vitamin and mineral needs.

Pecan Nut for Daily Diet

Including Pecan nut for daily diet purposes helps promote gut and immune health. According to WebMD,12 it’s better to have some Pecan nuts instead of a bag of chips.

Pecan nuts have a great fat source that is better than saturated fats from french fries, chips, etc. Monosaturated fats improve heart functions and lower cholesterol.

Pecan Tree Leaf for Medicinal Purposes

Using Pecan Tree leaf for medicinal purposes is possible. However, teaming up with an herbalist that can help you create a mixture of homemade ointment or tea is suggested.

According to the International Journal of Herbal Medicine,13 Pecan Tree leaves are often used for antioxidant purposes and cleansing the body.

Extracting from twigs, Pecan leaves, and bark is a technique to accomplish medicinal benefits. These benefits include easing a respiratory infection or disease and balancing your blood sugars to prevent diabetes.

Pecan Wood for Smoking

Pecan wood is great for smoking and cooking meat. Game meats such as rabbit and deer meat are a favorite for many who use Pecan wood to help smoke their meat.

However, the nutty flavor of Pecan wood for smoking poultry, pork, and other meats is also an option. The Pecan wood chips and shells are often a good choice for your smoker.

But be sure to check with your meat smoker manufacturer to ensure Pecan wood for smoking is acceptable.

Companion Plants for Growing Pecan Tree

Pecan Trees are allelopathic. The toxic chemical that a Pecan Tree gives off is a poison called Juglone.

Juglone poisons not only some plants but also animals. If you have a tomato garden or Apple Tree, Juglone will poison your tomatoes and Apples.

Graphics of ideal companion plants for growing Pecan Trees showing plants such as Elm Tree, Shasta Daisies, Poppies, Maple Tree, Grass, and Sunflower images along with short description on how they help Pecan Trees.

Choosing true companion plants for growing Pecan Tree is very important. The following are great companions for small yards with Pecan Trees:

There are several companion plants for growing Pecan Tree and designing your backyard with the best options that will prevent the decay of plants and flowers.

Pecan Tree Disease Prevention

Planting a Pecan Tree that is scab resistant helps with preventing diseases. Pecan varieties such as Mohawk, Cheyenne, Gormley, and Sioux.

New Pecan varieties that are disease resistant are consistently being created and grafted. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports new Pecan varieties.14

For example, the Nacono Pecan Tree is made from the Cheyenne and Sioux Pecan Trees.

Wide view of Pecan Tree farm, showing Pecan Trees planted in rows.

(Image: Vidal.andres26)

The Nacono Pecan Tree was discovered in the year 2000. The Nacono Pecan Tree was available to the public in 2003 in locations but primarily in the southern region.

Pecan Tree Sap and Aphids

People often complain about what they believe to be sap on their car and Pecan nuts from the tree. The sticky stuff dripping from the Pecan Tree is aphid poop.

The honeydew is from the aphid.

The Pecan Tree is being attacked by Yellow Pecan Aphids or Black-Margined Aphids. These aphids feed on the Pecan Tree leaves.

Black mold will also appear on the Pecan leaves because of the aphid infestation.

Common Pests of the Pecan Tree

Besides Yellow Aphids and Black-Margined Aphids, the common pests of the pecan tree are as follows:

  • Pecan bud moth
  • Pecan weevil
  • Sawflies
  • Spittlebugs

There are many pests that are attracted to the Pecan Tree. But before you see honeydew, notice if your Pecan Tree is shedding early or the leave are turning brown.

Early detection and putting some basic things in action can prevent infestations of aphids in your Pecan Tree.

How To Stop Pecan Tree Disease

Damage from Pecan scab begins in the Spring. This Spring pest is due to over watering or extreme rainfall.

If not stopped, the Pecan scab will enter the Pecan nut by summer.

How to stop Pecan Tree diseases such as Pecan scab, powdery mildew, downy spot, and other disease starts with resistant Pecan cultivars. Finding out the best disease resistant Pecan varieties for your region is an excellent start.

Although a disease-resistant Pecan Tree is very reliable, the care of the tree will help it stay healthy and prevent Pecan diseases.

Pruning a Pecan Tree and removing weeds helps prevent disease. Pruning promotes health, more sunshine, airflow, and removal of any possible insect or pest that causes diseases.

Removing weeds surrounding your young Pecan Tree helps the soil and root system to not compete for nourishment. Preventing competition for moisture and nutrients involves removing weeds in the spring and summer.

Natural Pest Control for Pecan Tree

The natural pest control for Pecan Tree besides pruning and pulling weeds is spraying neem oil. Neem oil suffocates any pest, such as mites and aphids, attempting to invade your Pecan Tree.

The Best Care for Pecan Trees Maximize Harvest

If you have successfully planted your Pecan Tree into the proper soil, you’re more than halfway there to an abundant harvest of Pecans in the future.

But the best care for Pecan Trees to maximize harvest requires the following:

Watering Needs for Pecan Tree Plants

Having a watering schedule for your young Pecan Tree is necessary. If your location does not have adequate rainfall, providing your tree with a gallon of water per day is not unusual.

Especially in the summer months, your Pecan Tree may need more water to ensure the tree is hydrated. The first three years of the Pecan Tree may require up to 10-15 gallons a week.

Mature trees that are bearing fruit or Pecan nuts need extensive amounts of water. Having 2 inches of water per week for a mature tree during the spring and summer is adequate.

Checking your young or mature Pecan Tree soil will allow you to determine if it needs additional water. Watering needs for Pecan Tree plants vary from the hottest weather to the cooler seasons.

Depending on the age of your Pecan Tree and location, your winter watering schedule maybe once every two weeks. Checking the top 2 inches of your soil. If it’s dry, water your Pecan Tree.

Pruning a Pecan Tree

Pruning a Pecan Tree helps air flow and allows the sun rays to do its job. Pruning also helps control the growth of the tree.

But removing shoots on the top of the Pecan Tree helps train the tree for its health and canopy.

Choosing the central leader of the tree requires removing additional strong shoots on the top of the Pecan Tree. This helps with getting full sun and a strong structural tree.

Pruning your young Pecan Tree may be done weekly.

Mature Pecan Trees usually need annual pruning. Pruning a Pecan Tree that is over 10 years old especially is not as often and requires lower maintenance.

Fertilizing Pecan Trees

Determining when your young Pecan Tree needs fertilizer depends on the type of Pecan Tree and its location. The fertilizer adds nutrients such as zinc, nitrogen, potassium, and more that allow your tree to thrive.

It may be recommended that your Pecan Tree receives fertilizer after 12 months of planting. Fertilizing Pecan Trees promotes a strong root system, healthy leaves and helps manage water balance.

Mature Pecan Trees have fertilized annually during early spring. The beginning of spring is the growth period for Pecan Trees.

Preparing for new leaves and later Pecan crops allows the tree to do what it’s supposed to during the harvest season.

The best care for Pecan Trees to maximize harvest is adequate water, pruning, and fertilizing your Pecan Tree soil.

How To Keep Your Full Grown Pecan Tree Small

Pruning and trimming your full-grown Pecan Tree small is the only way to control its size. Balancing pruning your tree during the first 5 years of your Pecan Tree growth stages trains the tree structure.

Knowing which branch to completely remove or trim is important. If you are unsure how to prune or trim your tree to control its size, contact your trusted nursery or local university extension.

How Much Carbon Does Pecan Tree Sequester?

Trees are a powerful and organic air purifier for your environment. Planning and designing your home backyard with Pecan Trees is very eco-friendly.

Your family’s carbon emissions and your neighbors can be cleansed on a daily basis with your new trees.

The Pecans nutrition and adding Pecan nuts to your daily diet is one benefit, but for centuries planting your Pecan Trees will do its part in balancing global warming.

According to Pecan South Magazine, 2 million Pecan Trees will help remove 560 million pounds of carbon dioxide, which is comparable to 41 500 cars driving 15,000 miles per year.

Your two or three Pecan Trees may remove 560 million pounds of carbon dioxide in your lifetime, but it will do its part. How much carbon does pecan tree sequester will be quite different with a small backyard versus a Pecan Tree farm.

With the average American carbon footprint being 16 tons, planting your Pecan Trees does more for your immediate environment than not having Pecan Trees.

Pecan Tree Wood and Carbon Emissions

According to Pecan Report, one Pecan Tree with a 10-inch diameter can reduce 118 pounds of atmospheric carbon dioxide per year.

No, the Pecan Tree wood and carbon emissions do not reduce as many emissions as a dense Oak Tree.

The Pecan Tree does reduce more than the average tree reduction of emissions of 25 kg per year. Reducing more than 25 kg of carbon emissions a year is approximately 55 pounds per year.

Pecan Tree Farm Ecosystems

Pecan Tree farm ecosystems providing reductions of significant amounts of carbon emissions, supplying oxygen, and can reduce noise pollution with the help of their large canopy. Your Pecan Trees will also take care of the animals in their ecosystems.

Pecan Trees provide shade and food for animals. The deer, raccoons, blue jays, and other wildlife enjoy the sweet Pecan nut.

Squirrels are known to help prepare pecan nuts with winter germination by burying the fallen pecan nuts.

Pecan Wood for Furniture and Its Benefits

From decorative Pecan wood veneers, to cabinets, golf clubs, and other tools, Pecan wood for furniture and its benefits are endless. Pecan wood has impeccable shock resistance, which limits damage and makes it last longer.

Pecan wood floors are great for high foot traffic and are water resistant. If you’re living in the United States, a great benefit is the Pecan wood does not have to travel far.

The Pecan Tree is in several states, which lower fossil fuel and carbon emissions.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pecan Tree

In the United States, Which State Grows the Best Pecan Nuts?

The best Pecan nut depends on its care. But Georgia is the state that produces more Pecan nuts than the other 15 states.

What Is the Lifespan of Pecan Trees?

Some states, such as Texas, report having Pecan Trees that have lived for over 1,000 years. On average, a Pecan Tree can live up to 250 years.

Do Pecan Trees Need a Lot of Watering?

Yes, young Pecan Trees need more irrigation. Mature trees will need more water during the spring and summer, a young Pecan Tree may need 10-15 gallons of water per week.

Do Trees Have Genders in the Juglandaceae Family?

As for the Pecan Tree, it has male and female flowers. Do trees have genders? Because of the female and male flowers, the Pecan Tree is considered monoecious.

What Kind of Fertilizer Do Pecan Trees Need?

Based on your location and soil type, and pH, the fertilizer must match your sandy loam or clay soil. Fertilizers 10-10-10 are often recommended for mature trees and 20-10-10 or 16-4-8 for young Pecan Trees.


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