I graft the first or second week of April onto seedlings I purchase from Missouri State Nursery 3-4 weeks in advance. I warm them up on heat mats for those 3-4 weeks and then graft. I collect the wood or have purchased scions from Nebraska Nut Growers Assc. in advance.

Of course for either bench or field grafting you should graft at the first sign of bud swell or if you are able to see the roots like in my case with these seedlings I tuck into moist sawdust in rubbermaid bins and cover with poly, then at the first sign of a white root tip is also an indicator the seedlings are ready to be grafted.

There’s no doubt field grafting has its benefits. I’ll let my friend Gary explain these benefits in this youtube video… especially grafting high into wood that is clear from deer browse.
Gary Fernald Field Grafting



Thank you. What kind of success rate do you get and what technique are you using for that type grafting?


Hi Matt, thanks nice to meet you.


This is very encouraging to try and grow Pecan here. I ended up getting seedlings from a good friend, but looking to try grafting some good cultivars unto them. by next spring.
I also like that wrap on that Hark, I guess to stop the squirrels form raiding it.



I use a Fieldcraft Topgrafter and on certain occasions I use a knife. A long story short… I ended up with 82 successful grafts from this spring of pecans/hicans/shagbark on pecan. 125 seedlings I planted the fall, prior. When I dug them up all the roots went from fibrous to a carrot. They were worthless. Another 75 seedlings I promptly ordered from MO Nursery with great roots I grafted on along with those carrot, crap, root-systems. So… next spring I’ll get a better idea of my take percentage. I can honestly say that plucking out the unsuccessful grafts were mostly carroted root-systems. Gary Fernald using a tool similar to a Fieldcraft Topgrafter after the work is completed and the grafts cared for to initiate scion growth and then hardened off and planted directly to the field does get over 90% survivors which is exceptional. The last time his grafts were planted out to the field he had 95% success.


Let me know if I can help with ‘Hark’ scions. I assume you’re in an area that pecan will grow mature the nut well? I don’t know where you’re located - doesn’t say so on your profile. And indeed that sheet meal wrap stops squirrels. W/o it, you will literally lose if not 100% of the pecan on a tree but at least 95%.



Bass is near Allentown, PA.


Yep, Pennsylvania has a welcoming climate for pecan growing.



A major windstorm came thru last night and Hark pecans blanketed the ground. Three of us brought home a good chunk.



Wow !!!


Mighty fun! So delicious these are.



As Matt has bumped this one back up, now’s a good chance to discuss desirable features… sure, everyone wants a big, great-tasting pecan… but…
For the home grower, who’s likely not going to want to, or be able to perform appropriate sprays… scab resistance is trait #1! If scab fungus is going to take 75-100% of your nuts every year… what does it matter if it cracks out high percentage kernel?
Some varieties that are prevalent in commercial plantings will fail miserably for most of us home/low-input growers who don’t have access to air-blast sprayers… Desirable, Nacono, etc. may never produce a decent nut for most home growers, due to their scab susceptibility.

Muddy - Elliot is good, but here are some of the other varieties you need to be looking at:


On top of the scab resistance issue is finding a nursery selling the scab resistant pecans. In particular finding a good type I pecan with high scab resistance is hard. I have a Caddo as my type I but its only mediocre on the scab scale. Looking at the above list there are few options for high scab resistance in type I - Gafford is the only one I find available but its not considered the most tasty nut.


Scott, if I were in eastern Maryland, the type I pecans that would probably be at the top of my list would be Major, Shepherd, Amling, and possibly Syrup Mill. That’s based purely on second-hand information.


My type II is a Kanza which is a Major seedling so I wanted something different; Lakota is another of the top Type II’s and is also a Major seedling. Other than that Major would be a good one. The other ones were not available when I was looking but there do seem to be more options from Bass Pecan now. Without Bass there would be very little in the way of options unless there is a seller I am not finding.

I’m probably not going to get any more pecans but for others thinking about it, the place to order from seems to be Bass if you want to get a scab-resistant type I. … Looking into this some more, both Shepherd and Amling look to be good ones, I would get one of those two if I were to get another. Thanks for the info Floyd.


Hi Scott,

‘Hark’ is a type I. I’ll be selling grafts on ebay this spring, or, I could cut scions for you.

In my climate it’s scab free but in Kansas as KSU it gets a bit of scab. Then again, everything grown there gets scab to some degree. Here we can bring cultivars from KSU that might get a lesser degree of scab there but up here they don’t get any scab. I would definitely recommend ‘Hark’ to you.



I can also confirm that pecans seem happy here. There are two large old pecan trees in the Lancaster area that that I drive by regularly. No idea what variety they are, but both are near old farmhouses, so I suspect that both were planted intentionally.


Hmmmm… I have Pawnee, Peruque and Colby grafted trees, and a lot of native pecans that help pollinate. I’ll have to take some pictures of the nuts because the picture of Pawnee and Desirable posted by Fruitnut looks a lot like my Pawnee and Peruque, but with the Pawnee replacing the Desirable and the Peruque replacing the Pawnee. The Pawnees I collected this year are much larger than the one in the picture, and shell out easily. I use one of the piston-type crackers and almost all the nuts shell out in halves. The Colby’s look a lot like the Carya Illinoiensis “Iowa”, in that they are long and thinner and pointed at both ends. They have a much thicker shell than the Pawnee and though they do shell out in halves mostly they also tend to “explode” and I have to keep a hand around the nut as it breaks to keep the shrapnel controlled. I got only a few Peruques, which are a nice round nut that shells fairly easily. The Pawnee shell is so thin it is very easy to finish the shelling by popping pieces off with a thumb nail. The Colbys will ruin a manicure quickly! BTW, all my grafted trees came from Forrest Keeling. I got the two Pawnee and two Peruques from a commercial pecan orchard that ordered them for me. The Colby I bought at the Chestnut fair run by the University of Missouri Agriculture folks. I wanted a Kanza back then, about 11 years ago, but they were out, and the Colby was at least a late pollen producer. I wasn’t aware that I had so many native pecans at the time and was concerned that I needed something to pollinate the Pawnees and Peruques.



I like the thick, round, pecans… I’m sure the majority of people do to.

Bill Reid at Kansas State U got Kanza back on the rolling train, again. It was dismissed by the USDA pecan breeding program but, Bill Reid thought otherwise; and it’s good that he did.

Kanza will mature in my zone 5b only during long summers but most years it will not. ‘Hark’ has a thin shell. but not like ‘Desirable’ or several I ordered from Swift River Pecans last winter for eating. From what I recall of the eight or so varieties I sampled, Kanza took much more pressure to crack than a Hark with a Reed’s Rocket cracker. Now I crack 10 or 20 at a time with a King Kracker and strip the shells while I’m watching a show, i.e.



Here is a pic of my pecans. Top to bottom are Pawnee, Peruque and Colby. The Colby vary quite a bit in size, but these are representative samples of the Pawnee and Peruque. Looking at Fruitnut’s picture of Desirable vs Pawnee makes me wonder.



I think what you’re not realizing is how big the Desirable nuts are compared to all the others pictured. What is somewhat misleading is that my Pawnee are a bit on the small side for that variety. I think I figured 64 nuts per lb whereas they are listed somewhere more like 55. Mine are a bit less than 1.5 inches long. Whereas the Desireable are closer to 2 inches long.

My soil isn’t the best and I didn’t water enough to max out size on Pawnee. I’m going to do better next yr and if I can’t get the size up I’ll probably remove the tree.

I just weighed well-dried, unsorted Desirable at 38 nuts per pound. That’s 12 grams per nut compared to 12.7 for the sample pictured earlier. The big Desirable nuts run 14 grams or 32 nuts per lb.

My climate and soil aren’t the best for growing big trees, large nuts, or big fruit. I see it all the time. My fruits are usually way bigger inside the greenhouse than outside. But a mature tree on strong root seems to do better. So my large Desirable tree probably has an advantage on the 11 yr old Pawnee.