Plant them now and they should give excellent germination. I have several hundred pecans in the refrigerator stratifying so they will be ready to plant in a couple of months.

Adcock in Tifton also sells in-shell pecans. I don’t think the price will be any better, but maybe worth a call if it will save a few miles travel.


Thanks, I called Adcock. They only sell shelled Elliot. I appreciate the tips.


Just got back from Ellis Bros with 5 pounds of Stuart and 5 pounds of Elliot. This is the first time I’ve had Elliot in shell. The flavor is good, but the nut is tiny.

Edit: I’ve learned Elliot is rarely sold in-shell because it is “wasted by customers”. You have to speak with the office manager to get them in-shell.


I bought 100 pounds of Stuart pecans from Adcock in 2008. Talk to the guy who buys and processes pecans and tell him you want them for seed nuts. He brought them out from the storage warehouse and bagged them up for me.


100 pounds, wow! Have you ever tried making pecan nut butter? I’ve made macadamia nut butter, which is great. By the way, shelled pecans cost nearly as much as I can purchase shelled macadamias shipped to my door.

I suspect the staff at Adcock are unaware of a lot of these things. I went up there in person and later called just to see if I would get a different answer. I probably should have walked around back to see if I saw some of the warehouse workers.

Ellis Bros were a little cheaper, much friendlier, plus their “Sweet Heat Pecans” are amazing. It’s only a 40 min drive. I did let them know these are seed nuts and will be planted. I made sure they weren’t heated or anything. They told me it’s what they use for their rootstock, then offered to sell me trees next year (they are currently sold out, lol).
When we toured the pecan processing facility I was surprised to see how the nuts meant for shelling are basically kept in really hot water for a couple of hours to kill pathogens.


At what height should I allow my pecan trees to begin branching out? I don’t have my trees planted in a typical orchard setting, and I’ll never need to get a shaker or sprayer near the tree (so I think). I do want a pretty tree that I can easily get a ladder on for pruning, scion wood, etc.


Either let the tree grow tall and straight or prune to an umbrella shape. A lot depends on the genetics of the tree being pruned. I’ve been pruning to an umbrella shape. This is best done by selecting 4 branches between 6 and 8 feet above the ground and letting them grow while pruning out the central leader. This tree form is less useful for shaking but infinitely easier to maintain when there is need to get into the top for occasional work like collecting scionwood.

If you want high quality scionwood, the tree should be maintained in such a way that it produces a lot of vigorous water sprouts.


A lot of the locals here in the Deep South sell the pecans they pick up in their yards, usually Stuart. They make a decent amount of money doing this. Other than Avalon, what are the top three pecan varieties someone like me should plant in a no spray, no irrigation situation like this? One variety would need to be a pollinator for the others; although, there are a lot of volunteers around here. A large, well filled nut brings premium prices.


UGA will probably release another variety within the next 3 years so there may be another possibility near term. These have relatively high levels of scab resistance at present though this may change over time. The other concern is overbearing. Elliott deserves consideration as a yard tree though it has known issues with small nut size and overbearing. Amling and Huffman are noted for tendency to self-prune excess crop so they do not tend to overbear. Avalon is not yet known for crop potential as a mature tree.

Amling - I
Huffman - I
Avalon - II
Gafford - I
McMillan - II
Sumner - II
Elliott - II
Excel - II

Edit: I left Gafford out. It has very high scab resistance but not so good nut quality.


The only one from your list I’m missing is Huffman. I have 6 volunteer pecan seedlings, about 10 to 15 feet tall, that have popped up in the middle of one of our low pastures. I’m assuming squirrels buried these nuts? It seems odd they are in the middle of a field. I couldn’t ask for better spacing, each tree is spaced about 50 feet apart. These trees have thrived despite the routine onslaught of my goats and zero care. I’ll be topworking some of these in a couple of months. Needless to say, I’m giving these trees a lot of thought. This entire field is a frost pocket, which makes me reconsider Elliot.

When I spoke with Buck he told me he doesn’t have any Huffman this year. I need to get on the phone and figure out who has this cultivar.


So I was reading through this

Now I’m really interested in Prilop. The E.V. Smith Research Center is a bit too far for me to justify driving there this winter. Hey Fusion, who did you contact to gain access to this place? Also, did they provide you with a map of the tree cultivars?

On a related note, I am trying to gain access to the non-patented scions from the research station here in Tifton.


Jason Burkett has a map of the cultivars in the planting and is the person to contact if you want to visit. Prilop and Carter are not at this location, they are in the south Alabama location.

Prilop has several weaknesses which is why I did not include it in the list of varieties to propagate above. It is getting scab pretty bad in some locations which means that scab has adapted to it as more acres are planted. It is a small nut though with good quality. I tried to graft Prilop 2 years ago but did not get any takes.

Tobacco Barn is probably worth investigating as a yard tree.

Here is a list of the trees at E.V. Smith excluding USDA numbered trees. Some of these cannot be provided as scionwood!

Adams 1
Adams 5
Baby B
Hickory Major
Miss L
Southern State
Syrup Mill
Tobacco Barn


I appreciate the up-to-date information, which will hopefully prevent me from making some big mistakes down the road. It seems there is a lot of misinformation about scab susceptibility out there. I’m planning to graft my Dad’s Pawnee into an Elliot at bud swell. I knew Pawnee was scab susceptible, but your talk encouraged me to get on it sooner rather than later.


Does anyone here sell pecan trees? I’ve had terrible luck ordering them online. Survival rate for bare root as been dismal. Rock Bridge Trees is about 1.5 hours from me, but his trees are out of my price range.


Rob, two suggestions. Either drive up to Nolin River nursery and pick up the trees you want or drive to Bass pecan nursery. All of Bass’ pecan trees are sold in 7 gallon grow bags. Transplanting is dead easy when the tree has a solid root system under it. The only caveat about Bass trees is that they propagate on Elliott rootstock. The further north, the less adapted Elliott is to growing conditions.


Non-bare root pecan trees are high. Does David Hughes (Rock Bridge) offer a discount for picked up trees? He did at NAFEX. These prices reflect the difficulty in grafting.


Nolin is great Rob. His trees (John Brittan) are already dug and heeled in for this this years sales. He hires backhoe operators to dig at Fall.

I’m cutting back this year. I’m grafting mostly for myself & friends. I ordered 100 pecans. My source: native Missouri seedlings.

Sorry David, I responded to you accidentally.


Sorry for the barrage of questions. I know little of larger scale planting for nut harvesting. Do you feel a 10 to 20 acre pecan farm is a good plan for partial retirement? What is the approximate cost of a well plus power for a planting of that size. What about the cost of irrigation lines and sprayers? I understand these wells are much deeper and larger in diameter. If I were to contract out harvesting, shaking and spraying what would be the major drawbacks to this? I don’t see owning equipment ever paying for itself for this small of an orchard. Yes, there are tons of pecan farms around here I could possibly work out a contract with. This fact then makes me worry about the future of the pecan industry combined with China’s growing industry. Also, I hope by the time I chose to do this I could propagate all the trees myself for little cost.



I have some feedback for your questions.

When I visited Shepherd Farms, Dan Shepherd said, “go big or go home.”

He told about a fella with a similar 10-20 acres that has his own shaker and does his own spraying and then told us that because (Shepherd Farms) was doing the cracking and the involved costs for this other guy, that he wasn’t making sh#t.
If I recall it was something like the guy would be lucky to break even.

You should take this information to a few of your local larger farms and see exactly what they say.



I spoke with David two or three years ago. Super nice guy. I asked about a discount if I picked them up. He was a little iffy on details, but did say there may be a slight discount. It didn’t seem like it would be enough to counter the cost of making the trip however. He does have a great selection of disease resistant northern pecan trees, though.