Above Deer Height

Get it above deer height and then begin collecting yer nuts or fruits. Watch for bad crotches and when you decide it’s time to, stand back and get out of the way.

These are the very first cultivar-grafted nuts from my property on a shellbark rootstock grafted at about 5’ 5" off ground. These are ‘Selbher’… Carya laciniosa ‘Selbers’ This tree received no pollen except its’ own. Next year since I have the unique opportunity to introduce pollen from ANY of the Carya genus, I may after thought this winter pollinate it with: pecan, another shellbark hickory, a shagbark… a hican . . .

I paint the graft union areas so I throughout my life always know there they are. Once you begin top-working trees because you have no space, it becomes necessary to know where each union is. You should have your unions, marked.

This is a 5-year graft. It is 17-feet tall. I let it do most of its’ own work correct a few things here and there and now its on it’s own.

It’s always best to plant rootstocks in-situ and later graft to them above deer height if you’re able/are a grafter or plan to learn how to graft doing these techniques: the bark graft & the flap graft & the mega-chip; or June Greenwood Budding…



Carya laciniosa ‘Selbhers’ - Shellbark hickory cultivar

Carya laciniosa ‘Selbhers’ - Shellbark hickory cultivar

Plant the correct rootstocks for your soil/climate, water and feed them (manure) each Fall, and later you’re entire orchard has been planned and you skip a world’s worth of work. This all applies for the home orcharder as much as a rural orchardist.

It’s 10x easier to establish smaller trees than larger. Buy 1/4" or 3/16" clonal rootstock(s) to start your journey for vs larger. For seed rootstock such as nut trees, your best bet is always to start your rootsock from seed grown, in-ground. The taproot of the seed established tree during its’ first year only needs water until mid-July and then you may simply step back and walk away after taking necessary precautions to protect from deer and if necessary to feed them. There’s nothing better on this earth than horse manure distributed at Fall of each year.


w/o pecking at my own words, too much. my buddy brought over a ziplock bag he had probably carried in his truck and pockets for 5-days and tried to pollinate lower flowers. The flowers in the bag were wet, lol.

Nuts produced in photos were from much higher than he attempted.


Do you have any issues with bucks rubbing your tree trunks? A “singleton” tree out in a relatively open area here is like a magnet for bucks this time of the year.

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I don’t. I cage until a certain caliper, however, and that may be why??


These are current examples of what I’ll do. I always use poultry netting.

You’ve gotta let them become big, man.