Native pecan

the house we live in is about 100 years old and in our front yard is a pecan tree that they must have planted when they were building the house. The trunk is close to three feet in diameter and maybe 60 feet tall. It makes pecans every year but usually the crop is sparse and many nuts would have shriveled kernels. I have lived here almost 20 years and a couple of years the produced lots of nuts that were full. There is no other pecan tree in the area. Is it a zinc defeciancy or a pollination issue ?

Are you sure there aren’t any other pecan trees within a quarter mile? With a tree that big it must be a pretty good pecan area. Usually that means other trees. Does it form small nutlets that fall off unpollinated?

Zinc deficiency results in small wavy leaves. And with a sparse crop it probably won’t cause poorly filled nuts.

There is one small pecan in the road right of way that is a seedling from this tree. In the county I live in in sw missouri I have never seen another pecan. There maybe some in town where they have been planted but where I live in the country there are none. My dad lives about four miles from here owns over two hundred acres with part of that in creek bottom land and there are no pecans on his property. Most people in this county don’t even know what a pecan looks like. I had a professional logger stop and ask if he could buy my " walnut tree" .

It does drop some of the small nuts when they r pea sized. It’s kind of hard to tell until the nuts drop as the limbs that produce are so high that u can’t see them very well

The seedling could possibly pollinate mother tree if old enough to flower. It could also be that you just have a poor producer.

The seedling is small , I have never seen it bloom . Just 8 feet tall at best. Is it possible for the pecan to produce with no pollinator ?

Yes there can be some self fertility. But usually not good set and possibly poor nut fill. That could be the story, lack of pollination.

That seems to fit my situation. How old/big would a pecan need to be to start to flower? How is it possible for my lone tree to make a nut that is able to sprout and grow? Is it some sort of asexual reproduction as a survival technique?

Some or maybe even most pecans can pollinate themselves to some extent. They all have male and female flowers on each tree. But the pollen is usually shed before or after the flowers are receptive. Plus the pollen may not be compatible.

Seedling pecans usually need to be 10-15 yrs old to flower/fruit. That’s not likely at 8ft. The fastest way to get pollen would be to graft on a limb of an early and late pollen shedding variety. That could also give possibly better nuts. In your area Kanza, Lucas, Osage, Peruque, Posey, Major, or Lakota would be candidates.

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Thanks for all of the pecan info. I may try to graft onto the small seedling tree. I really appreciate the help I get on this site. I have wondered for years why this tree doesn’t produce.

Or plant a grafted tree. Grafting onto the seedling is a good idea as well.

I thought of another factor that might be at work. It could be that your tree requires more heat and/or a longer growing season than your climate provides. That would result in poorly filled nuts. If the nuts that do form shed the outer shuck cleanly then that may not be the case. If the outer shuck hangs on or freezes on in fall then season is too short. The cultivars mentioned are all early maturing. There are varieties suited to Missouri. Hopefully you can get one or two established. If you can grow that nice of a tree you can grow the nuts of proper varieties.

I live in southwest Missouri about thirty miles north of the arkansas line. I have seen native pecans quite a bit north of here that make nuts. When the nuts ripen on my tree the shuck splits and a clean nut drops. Some drop in the shuck and these are the ones that r empty or shriveled. We usually get our first frost just after the nuts drop.

My father in California had a couple pecan trees. We spent many hours by the fireplace shelling pecans. Every so often there would be an empty nut. I read in a farm paper out there that lack of water causes that. Also, one must remove any husks that might remain on fallen or knocked nuts and then cure (allow to dry) them for a couple weeks before shelling them. Rubber gloves are helpful when removing the husks, as the juice stains fingers. Northwoodswis4

We are usually pretty wet here most of the year( we had three and a half inches of rain the last couple of days) although it can get dry in July and August. I am really leaning toward lack of pollination. There are just no pecan trees here. I am sure this was planted in the yard. My grandpa grew up in east Texas and Oklahoma. He moved out west before buying land here sight unseen. He was compleatly shocked when the moved here and there were no pecan trees even down on the creek bottoms.

I thought I would add a photo of my tree. I put my lawn chair next to it for perspective.

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It is pretty big, that’s why I figured if I could get it pollinated it would make quite a few nuts. Maybe that’s part of the problem, maybe it is just too old.

Beautiful tree alright! I’d love to have that baby in my yard. I doubt too old is an issue. They remain productive in those parts of the tree that aren’t shaded out. That doesn’t look to be an issue with your tree. Getting pollen up to the top may be an issue. It may mostly blow away instead of up. Need a helicopter drop from above!!

Good to know fruitnut. Maybe the seedling tree can be my grafting project next year.