Pecan seedlings and when to graft

I germinated 20 Kanza Pecan seedlings this spring. After the seeds germinated, I transferred them to a double stack of tall 2 gallon pots, that’s a pot with a second pot with the bottom removed on top, so as to provide more depth of soil. I am sure this wasn’t good enough or deep enough…
In any case the seedlings all lived and grew a reasonable amount this year. So my question is , should I try to graft these this coming spring, or, should I plant them out, wait a few years, and then graft at this point?

Thanks in advance!!

Stem diameter determines whether or not they can be grafted. The minimum diameter is usually 5/16 inch and the largest is 7/8 inch. Overall best results will be for stem sizes between 3/8 inch and 1/2 inch. This applies for various whip and tongue or omega grafts. Larger trees can still be grafted, but a bark graft has to be used. The trees can be grafted for your area from roughly mid March through mid June with April to mid May being giving decent success while earlier and later may be problems. You might want to look up Barkslip’s information about using a heat tube to enhance callus formation.


Thanks! I will check that out!

Callus Pipe 50$

A couple bricks to raise it and you’re in. Hey, I’m curious what height your Kanza seeds grew to in that system, please?


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Tallest is maybe 18” tall, shortest is maybe 10” tall. I think I could have gotten them bigger but I was Greenhouse growing them and of course I got a terrible mite outbreak late summer which I am certain set them back somewhat. As far as stem caliper, most of them are on par with most Apple rootstock I’ve ever bought.


Ok, I’m noticing something potentially troubling with my Pecan seedlings. In the past few days, the buds have noticeably swelled. The plants are in a minimal heat greenhouse. I’m unsure of what to do here. Should I move the plants outside to get the temps down, or will that hurt them? Or should I try to get scions ASAP and graft soon? Or am I just out of luck for this year and I’ll have to wait for next year? Or, is this bud swell normal and nothing to worry about??

I can say that in my more than 20-years of observing hardwoods that I can probably count close to four times I thought I saw bud swell sometime in late winter (inside a heated greenhouse for dormancy storage of hardwoods) but only to see I had imagined it. I was paying what I thought at the time closer observance to bud scale separation all to find out later I had imagined it all. Like you, it all came about when I convinced myself that the buds has swelled noticeably…

Should they leaf out it’s no big deal, but know that if grafted scions ever break for any reason they need a lot of light once you see the leaves unfurling and if you cannot provide strong light for them, they will likely crash and burn.

To answer your concerns, should buds actually swell, scales split, and the unfurling of leaves - you can wait more than a month w/o hindering the success rate of grafts.

For your information also, this greenhouse of mine will be 60-80 degrees in there every day the sun is bright and shining from the moment I close the doors in Fall till the day I re-open, come Spring. An exhaust fan and motor-controlled shutters runn full speed during a typical late January day at 10-degrees F with the sun shining and the greenhouse at 70-degrees inside. This goes on every day the sun shines thru winter. There are times when hardwood’s wake up during winter, there’s no doubt about that, but it’s always at least mid-Feb. here in IL zone 5b that they do.

It’s gotta be on the same lines as the relationship among chill hours for folks living in areas of the world where a certain # of chill hours must be met in order for that hardwood shrub or tree to wake up thus breaking dormancy. My greenhouse is set for 2-degrees above freezing. I simply do not wish for the roots to ever freeze.



Thanks for the excellent answer. It definitely makes me feel better.
Greenhouse is set at 40 degrees Fahrenheit night and set to ventilate at 55 degrees Fahrenheit. I’m at this point leaning towards moving them someplace cooler but not fully outdoors like my garage or the like. I’m going to keep a very close eye on them in any case.

Thanks again!!