Pecan pollination chart


One thing I am doing is going back through each note and verifying the information is correct. This turned up one error so far. Carlson #3 currently has a note that is for Carmichael. I’ve corrected this in my copy. I am also adding a good bit more information for each variety to indicate the original source state and type. I am using Seeding, Native seedling, and (Female X Male) where a known cross was made. I am gradually categorizing varieties into Deep Southern, Southern, Northern, and Far Northern groups. The intent is to make it easy to look at a group and pick varieties that will do well in each region. I will try to add more detail in the future by breaking varieties down to USDA hardiness zones and precipitation regions.

Dax, I could use some descriptive information about ‘Iowa’. You list it above and I have it in the spreadsheet but with no descriptive text. About all I know is that it is small, very early maturing, and suitable for far northern conditions.


Some pecan varieties have near 100% overlap of pollen production and pistillate flower receptivity and are capable of pollinating themselves. There is something unusual about the genetics of varieties that overlap. Let’s find out what.

Pecan dichotomy is determined by two alleles, ‘P’ = Protogynous and ‘p’ = Protandrous. Capital ‘P’ indicates that Protogynous is dominant and lower case ‘p’ indicates that Protandrous is recessive. You might attempt to do a standard Mendelian grid and expect native pecan to segregate with 1 - ‘PP’, 2 - ‘Pp’, and 1 - ‘pp’ which would be the norm with most genes. But this is not what happens with pecan. Because these alleles affect the bloom period and because they tend to force pistillate flowers to be pollinated by the opposite genotype, the result is that a Protandrous plant most of the time pollinates a Protogynous flower and vice versa. The result is that standard segregation patterns do not apply. In native stands of pecan, trees tend to segregate 50% protandrous and 50% protogynous. This means that about half of the time, native trees will have genotype ‘Pp’ and the other half ‘pp’.

But there are exceptions. One of the most notorious is Mahan which has genotype “PP”. All of Mahan’s progeny are Protogynous. What about trees that have genotype “pp”? Well, they have a quirk or two too. A plant with this genotype will always have pollen shed either prior to or concurrent with receptive female flowers. So what did I figure out that is unusual? Pecans that have near 100% overlap between pollen shed and flower receptivity are always genotype “pp”. There are no examples that I have found so far where a tree with ‘PP’ or ‘Pp’ genotype have strong overlap. Here are some examples: Barton, Cherokee, Creek, Jubilee, San Saba, and Western Schley. What makes this interesting? Most protandrous pecans do not overlap male and female flowers, therefore there must be a gene(s) that affects flowering type to cause them to overlap. I’m going to speculate that this will be a gene or biopath linked with chilling hour requirements.

Why so? A study of chilling hour requirements for pecan suggests that catkin buds have different chilling hour requirements to break dormancy than pistillate buds. I speculate that there is a gene(s) that sets both catkin and pistillate buds with the same chilling requirement so that they always break at the same time so long as chilling hour requirements are met. In other words, pollination type of pecan whether protandrous or protogynous is linked to the biopath for chilling hour requirements to break bud dormancy. The knock on effect is that there must be more than one ‘p’ allele but not necessarily more than one ‘P’ allele!

I’m posting a new update to the pollination chart tonight. Have fun! I am!


Very interesting speculation, Darrell. Extraordinary really.




@Fusion_power … I’ll echo @Barkslip’s accolades and up it a notch. The heads up about dichotomy in Pecans is something lacking in my readings to date. Thanks!


I just posted the latest update to the pollination chart on my website at the link above. This is the first version that I consider to have most of the relevant information in the document. It is not yet organized the way I want it and I have not yet written a couple of macros that will automatically group varieties according to region of adaptation. I also will incorporate feedback from Wes Rice and others as I receive it.


New update posted at link above. This version adds several varieties pollination timing and moves a few more into historic/not recommended territory. I’m working on macros to filter recommended varieties for given climate conditions. They are not embedded in the current sheet.


Thanks, appears to work fine in Google Sheets.


I just put up another version of the pollination sheet with the first iteration of the menu to select groups of varieties by state and location. Huge caution that I have NOT yet put in all of the states. Texas and Alabama should work fairly well though I need to update all of the varieties for Alabama. This version works Excel MAGIC!

At the top menu, look for Add-ins and click to select it. In the upper left area below “File” a new menu should appear with “Recommendations by Location”. Click it and the menu should open up. Select the Texas sub-menu and you can see the Texas recommended varieties for North, East, Central, and West regions. The same is true for Alabama, but I put in Northern Low Input and Southern Low Input options. I’ll do a lot of tweaking to these menus over the next few days.

I’m in a motel near Montgomery. Barring incident, I should collect scionwood from E.V. Smith pecan orchard tomorrow.


I use Google Sheets too, it does work well. Yesterday, I collected scion wood from my egg man’s tree (possible Farley). I used Dr. William Reid’s recommendations for harvesting wood from mature trees. I cut a bundle of good sticks, the owner of the tree is quite excited. He already has spots picked out for them. I told him no promises, but I’ll do my best.


I just put up a new version of the pollination sheet at the address above. Changes in this version include addition of menu items for more states plus re-arrangement of the historical and not recommended varieties. Just because it is not in the recommended list does not mean it is a bad variety nor does inclusion in the recommended group mean a variety is the best available. Due diligence should be performed by anyone using this sheet! A good example of this, Creek and Kiowa are both in the recommended group, but if you read carefully you will see that both are recommended as temporary trees under high quality management with irrigation. This is not the set of conditions for most home growers.

As noted above, the menu is under add-ins. The top item is “clear hidden rows” which will reset the sheet to beginning conditions with all varieties expanded for view.


Which add-in?


Across the top of the page should be the Excel menu. FILE, HOME, INSERT, PAGE LAYOUT, FORMULAS, DATA, REVIEW, VIEW, ADD-INS. Click on ADD-INS to get the menu. I don’t know if this will work with google sheets. It works with Excel 2013 or later.


Starking Hardy Giant, Warren 346, NC-4, and others didn’t stay with the category of far northern. They disappeared from the page leaving only these:

So not sure what happened. Pretty clever though how you did that.



I’ll have to go through the list to see what needs to be added. The current list is from Wes Rice. I agree that Warren 346 needs to be in the Far Northern list. Bill Reid suggested it as far northern adapted. Here is all that is in the macro for now. Please put together a list of suggestions and I will add them.

Mark_Variety ("Deerstand")
Mark_Variety ("Dumbell Lake Small")
Mark_Variety ("Hark")
Mark_Variety ("James")
Mark_Variety ("Mullahy")
Mark_Variety ("Oswego")
Mark_Variety ("Shepherd")


Honestly Darrel, you (we) need a category for northern and another for far northern.

I don’t have time right now to create a list for each, but I will when I have a moment later today/tonite.



Well I’m just going to use Wes’ book along with what I know off the top of my head:

First of all, Wes’ categorizes pecans as Northern or Ultra Northern. There’s an in-between where I live and that’s far northern.

James: Northern to Ultra-Northern (Wes)
My opinion is that it is a Far-Northern pecan that was found at the top of the Northern range and some years it will crop in zone 4b but definitely not consistently.

Starking Hardy Giant: Ultra-Northern (Wes)
My opinion is that it is a far northern pecan that will have years where it will produce in zone 4b (not consistently)

Mullahy: Ultra-Northern (Wes)
My opinion is Far-Northern to Ultra-Northern (not consistent in Ultra Northern zone 4’s)

Dumbell Lake Best aka Dumbell Lake Small: no area selection from Wes.
It is a Far Northern to Ultra Northern (not consistent in Ultra-Northern zone 4’s)

Gibson: Ultra-Northern (Wes)
If is a Far-Northern to Ultra-Northern (not consistent in Ultra-Northern zone 4’s)

Green Island Beaver aka Cornfield: Ultra Northern (Wes)
Far-Northern to Ultra-Northern (very good for Ultra-Northern; its shuck split is -18 days before ‘Colby’)

Warren 346: very hardy and a consistent producer for zone 4b/4a? Wes calls this category 1. (-21 days before ‘Colby’ and is “Ultra-Northern”).

(Wes Rice)
Category 1 - Early ripening cultivars with superior qualities. This category includes cultivars that have very early nut maturity, trees withstanding conditions as far north as Agricultural Zone 4, and produce crops that ripen frequently. Some selections are likely as good as the top rated cultivars, but have yet to be tested adequately. Nuts typically yield flavorful kernels, and cracking quality is good.”

Martzan (Category 1) Ultra-Northern (-19 days before 'Colby)

Snaps Early (Category 1) Ultra-Northern (probably -19 to -21 days prior to ‘Colby’ because it’s predicessor ‘Snaps’ is -17 prior to ‘Colby’).

Carlson 3 (Category 1) Ultra-Northern (-17 days before ‘Colby’)

Lucas (Category 1) Far-Northern to Ultra-Northern (-11 days prior to ‘Colby’)

Campbell NC4 (Category 1) Far-Northern to Ultra-Northern (-9 days prior to ‘Colby’)

I mostly-agree with Wes. Lucas & Campbell NC4 are borderline at least how I see it as being Ultra-Northern. (? ask Wes).

(Wes Rice)
Category 2 - Early ripening cultivars with good qualities. This category represents selections that are somewhat less cold hardy than those listed above, and require on average, a longer growing season for the crop to ripen. Most have been tested widely enough that their strengths and weaknesses are documented.”

Canton: (Category 2)
My opinion is top of the northern range and okay for Far-Northern. I don’t see this as an Ultra-Northern pecan.

Deerstand: (Cateogry 2)
My opinion is far-northern with some prospects for Ultra-Northern but won’t ripen every year in zone 4b. I know for a fact Grimo Nursery puts it as an Ultra Northern pecan but that’s his opinion and not mine. I believe I’m correct. It’s origin is Burlington IA (right across the river from me) and while Warren 346 is -21 days before Colby, Deerstand is -8 days. thats two weeks difference. Quite a lot I believe when talking about zone 4/“Ultra-Northern.”

Devore: (Category 2)
Never heard of it. It’s -2 days (after ‘Colby’ however) so at most it’s Far-Northern and not Ultra-Northern for me.
It is however a direct line from my house, but, its shuck split is late for Ultra Northern is my opinion. I suppose in the best zone 4 year (1 in 5 or 1 in 10 years) it could produce great____ best I can say.

Fisher: (Category 2) shuck splits with ‘Colby’. Far-Northern and not Ultra-Northern… just as Wes says.

Hadu #2: (Category 2) -6 days before Colby. This is going to be a Far-Northern selection with some but very limited potential for Ultra-Northern. The season just isn’t long enough for Ultra-Northern areas.

Bolten’s S-24: (Category 2) origin is Near Terre Haute, IN. That alone tells me it’s maximum potential is Far-Northern. It is -7 days to ‘Colby’. It falls into Northern to Far-Northern.

(Wes Rice)
Category 3 - Sub-northern cultivars This category includes cultivars that are usually successful in Agricultural zone 6, and may live and produce nuts in Zone 5 on a less regular basis. Kernel properties and cracking are typically good.”

Yates 152: (Category 3)
My friend has never mentioned trying to grow it up here. It’s doubtful to be productive just as Wes says. This is a Northern selection.

Goosepond: (Category 3)
We are grafting it here in the pecan Far-Northern range. I don’t find the kernels all that excellent and I wouldn’t grow it when ‘Hark’ is already a sure shoe in. Nevertheless, we are going to find out one way or another if it bears here.

Shepherd: (Category 3)
The nuts it is producing here are quite smaller than when grown in the Northern pecan belt. However, we know it is pollinating itself and we’ve only had two years to evaluate. It certainly produces in the Far-Northern pecan belt.

Witte: (Category 3)
Local selection right across the river from here. Shuck split is same as ‘Colby’. I’ve not seen a nut of ‘Colby’ grown here but I suspect it will grow here. Size may be quite small I don’t know.

a side-note is that ‘Gibson’ here produces nuts so small (it overbears for one) that they aren’t much larger than the last knuckle on your pinky to the end of your fingernail.

Yates 127: (Category 3)
It’s a Northern pecan. Whether it shuck splits here is likely just as Wes categorizes it (not consistently).

Yates 68: (Category 3)

(Wes Rice)

Category 4 - Poor Performers This category includes cultivars which, based on my observations and opinions, have few redeeming qualities. Nut maturity dates, disease resistance, nut size, and tree characteristics deem these cultivars as poor selections for propagation.

Dumbell Lake other aka Dumbell Lake Large: (Category 4)
It is a selection right across the river from me and that puts it in the Far-Northern range. Its shuck split is the same as ‘Colby’. It is not going to be an Ultra-Northern selection whereas ‘Dumbell Lake Best aka Dumbell Lake Small’ has some but not a lot potential for inconsistent cropping/shuck split in the Ultra-Northern range.

**Dumbell Lake Best aka Dumbell Lake Small refers to the size of the tree and not the size of the nut. It’s an error on my friends part to differentiate the two while collecting scionwood. So the (2) Dumbell Lake (large/small) has nothing to do with the nut-size.

Green Island Hackberry: (Category 4)
It is a Far-Northern selection that likely will not mature nuts in the Ultra-Northern pecan range. It is -6 days prior to ‘Colby’ for shuck split.

Snag: (Category 4)
Absolutely Ultra-Northern. Its shuck split is -17 days prior to ‘Colby’. Even if nut quality size is small, it’s likely going to be much better than seedling pecans for the Ultra-Northern range. As you go further north, disease impact is much less if none-at-all. So for the zone 4 folks it’s one to look for. It’s origin is right across the river from me (Burlington, Iowa).

Theresa Foster: (Category 4)
2 days + ‘Colby’. Certainly a Northern cultivar with potential in the Far-Northern range. It’s a Missouri-selection.

Ralf Upton: (Category 4)
-6 days before ‘Colby’. It’s fits directly to the Far-Northern range. As to Ultra-Northern, again, maybe 1 out of every 5 or 10-years it could be worthwhile.

Woman aka Old Woman: (Category 4)
Found directly across the river from here (Burlington, Iowa). -6 days before ‘Colby’ & is definitely a Northern-Pecan w/o much potential at all for Ultra-Northern areas.

Additional Information.
(Wes Rice: Pecans - Volume II A Grower’s Perspective) pg. 94

Next is Northern Cultivars some of which have been covered above. And with your help, Darrel, Northern cultivars are going to be a combination of both’ our knowledge. You are likely to know more about them than I.




Dax, one issue. That is a list of all the varieties in Wes’ book. I am trying to filter down to “recommended” varieties for a given climate. For example, I might put Iowa and Warren 346 in the ultra northern category but exclude Woman since Wes specifically says it is not worth propagating.


Darrel, this is the remainder that I have. As for selections, I honestly cannot say. These following photos are from samples at New Franklin, MO. Gary Fernald picked up off the ground and brought home for us to sample. The problem now is I don’t have my once written notes about flavor.

I think I pitched the notes after sampling them and thinking ‘I’ll never grow these’ or some such thought because it was clear to me that none of these were worthwhile in comparison to Hark… except Kanza. Don’t get me completely wrong… some were fine/okay.

Best I can do right now is add these photos:

‘Norton’ pecan

‘Norton’ pecan

‘James’ pecan

‘James’ pecan

‘James’ pecan

‘Creek’ pecan

‘Goosepond’ pecan

‘Goosepond’ pecan

‘Canton’ pecan

‘Kanza’ pecan

‘Warren 346’ pecan

‘Warren 346’ pecan

‘James Early’ pecan

‘Dooley’ pecan

‘Bolten’s S24’ pecan

‘Shepherd’ pecan

‘Greenriver’ pecan

‘Starking Hardy Giant’ pecan

‘Rock’ pecan

‘OC-1’ pecan

‘Stark Sure Crop’ pecan

‘Teresa Foster’ pecan

‘Mullahy’ pecan

Pictures aren’t going to do much of anything I realize… may as well let Google find them and get them available for search engines.



I spent over an hour on the phone going over varieties with Wes and then updated the pollination sheet with his suggestions. His reason for not recommending Snaps, Snag, and several others is that they are over 100 per pound. In other words, too small to recommend. This might not be an obstacle if an area is unable to grow larger pecan varieties.

I have not posted an updated sheet yet because I want to get Bill Reid’s input.


The latest update is now available at the link above. I included a “legend” sheet with some explanations and “how to use” info. The only major caution with this version is that I still have to go through more states and update the recommended varieties.