Pecan


#523

Early here, too. Crows are working 'em hard.
Oldest Major tree here on the farm (not the Converse strain) is dropping nuts; I’ve picked up a few over the past few days… get a pocketful most days.
Noticed the Kanza tree alongside the driveway is starting to split shucks. Posey tree in the yard is also splitting, so I pulled out all the nuts I could reach, before the crows get 'em.

Have gathered about 3 gallons of nuts from the Sinking Fork shagbark ortet in the last few days. Grafted Simpson #1 shellbarks here in the yard have yielded a gallon or so of dehusked nuts… but I’m having to compete with squirrels coming several hundred yards across the pasture to pilfer them.


#524

I picked about 30 pecans off the Adams #5 tree today. They are maturing about the same time as last year. Best estimate is that the tree has 400 to 500 pecans on it. I’ll have to fight the crows and blue jays to get them.


#525

Mike Cartwright (Evergreen, AL) and I (Hamilton, AL) visited Max Draughn today at his Pecan Hill farm and nursery. He showed us around @250 acres of pecan trees with roughly half producing and the rest recently planted trees. Trees ranged in age from 150 years down to newly planted this year. We looked at most of his nurse limb selections along with roughly 50 named varieties of pecans plus lots of older native trees.

We saw - among others - producing trees of Amling, Creek, Excel, Elliott, McMillan, Gafford, Jackson, Forkert, Big Dan, Giftpack, Headquarters, Syrup Mill, plus many more.

Of the seedling selections we looked at, I was most impressed with SD-8 and RH-3. We looked at roughly 20 other seedlings, many of which were very good looking pecans, that had some scab or other weaknesses. For a combination of characteristics, SD-8 and RH-3 were the best we looked at. This might change next year if scab resistance breaks down or other flaws show up.

SD-8 is an Elliott seedling with heavy production of small nuts roughly 1/3 larger than Elliott. Production is consistent and reliable. Leaf disease and insect damage was minimal. While the tree appears to overload, I did not see any limbs loaded so heavily they could break. Harvest is mid-season with nut drop roughly the 15th of October. IMO, this pecan would make an excellent yard tree and has commercial potential so long as small size is acceptable.

RH-3 is possibly a Pointe Coupee seedling (correct me if wrong Max!) with elongated slight football shape. Disease and pest resistance appeared to be excellent. Commercial potential is very high for this pecan. Size is about 58 per pound with about 55% kernel.

I brought home 3 bags of nuts that I intend to plant and grow into producing trees. One bag is Gafford that were grown beside Excel with very strong potential that they pollinated each other. The potential in this cross is for better nut quality than Gafford and better disease and pest resistance than Excel. One bag is Syrup Mill that was planted with Gafford as a pollinator. Syrup Mill has exceptionally good kernel quality and Gafford has heavy production plus exceptional disease and pest resistance. Some of the Syrup Mill may have been pollinated by nearby Forkert trees which could be a very good combination for size and nut quality. The third bag is Forkert which is planted beside a row of Jackson. Both share the same genetic heritage as crosses of Success X Schley. Jackson is more disease resistant than Forkert but has lower production potential. Forkert has better production and nut quality but less disease resistance.

Max was an exceptionally good host who set aside 6 hours from a very busy day to talk with two interested amateurs. He loves to talk and he talks a LOT about pecans!


#526

I drove to Auburn’s pecan planting and picked up nuts yesterday. I got 60 pounds of Kanza which I purchased. I also got samples of 10 varieties to do comparisons.

Amling - medium size nut, I’m impressed with how easy it is to grow

Apalachee - small to medium size nut, exceptional nut quality

Barton - medium to large nut, wanted to see how they hold up in storage

Eclipse - Just to have a nut sample of this controversial pecan

Hickory Major - Wanted to see how they shell out. Low crop on both trees this year.

Oswego - I wanted to verify the tree I got scionwood from last year was true to the variety

Pippin 09-7 - A large but otherwise not very impressive pecan

Tobacco Barn - small to medium size pecan, high scab resistance

92-1-238 - This one is impressive. It is a Forkert cross with thin shell and exceptional flavor. It is scab susceptible.

91-1-50 - Pawnee cross, saw it with a heavy nut load last year, wanted to see how the nut quality holds up.

I looked over at least 50 more numbered lines as we walked through the trees. There were a few more that looked decent but nut crop was light so I did not sample. Most of the numbered lines are relatively young trees just starting to produce.


#527

I wonder about high production varieties as yard trees. Basically wanting yard trees myself, I’m disinclined toward the high producing varieties because I’m afraid they’ll over-set and then either fill poorly or break limbs or both. Do you think that’s a reasonable concern?

And I wonder if I shouldn’t avoid varieties with smaller nuts and thinner shells, too, because I’m afraid birds could take an exceptionally large percentage of the crop if I’m only growing a few trees, so I wonder if larger, thicker shelled varieties wouldn’t minimize bird losses and leave more nuts for me.


#528

The problem with that approach is that there are very very few pecan varieties that make good yard trees and even fewer that also make larger nuts and still fewer that will produce nuts in your climate.

Gafford overbears. Excel overbears. Kanza is a small nut. Lakota overbears. Adams #5 is a small nut. That leaves Amling which at 60/lb is marginal size but does have the characteristics to make a good yard tree. I would plant Amling and Kanza if I wanted good yard trees in your area.


#529

I’m sure everybody gets tired of me recommending Hark but Bill Reid on his blog has been talking up Hark a lot lately. He’s even said it’s an easy tree to train while young.

Amling and Hark both weigh in at 60 nuts per pound. While I do not know Amling, I know Hark. Hark along with Kanza are perfect pollination mates. So, Hark or Amling is my question to you Darrel for Eric’s West Virginia climate? @Fusion_power

Flavor of Amling, Darrel? Flavor of Hark is as good or slightly better than Kanza and Hark’s kernel is blonde. It’s just beautiful.

60 pounds of Kanza Darrel. You lucky duck. I’m going to order some Kanza from Shepherd Farm in Missouri if he has any. I need a northern source of Kanza for seed but I also want to eat them.

Dax


#530

For West Virginia, hands down it is Hark and Kanza with Oswego and Amling as options. For North Carolina zone 7, I would do Amling and Kanza with Hark and Oswego optional. The reason is that I have seen both Kanza and Amling as 20+ year old trees and know for sure that both will produce abundantly in zone 7. I’ve seen Oswego as a 15 year old tree at Auburn. It bears a good crop two years out of three, i.e. with one light crop and two heavy crops. I don’t have that level of confidence in Hark though I am convinced it will be at least as good as Kanza. Hark is just not proven yet in the southeast. As for Amling’s flavor, it is a good flavored light colored pecan. It can’t touch the flavor of 92-1-238, but it is definitely better than 90% of the varieties I sampled from Auburn and from Pecan Hill in Mississippi.

Kanza is a very productive and early maturing pecan at Auburn. I picked up nuts from 4 trees. One is beside Eclipse, Oconee, and Posey. One is beside Excel, Creek, Gafford, and Desirable. Two are adjacent and intertwined with Barton, Gafford, Elliott, Creek, and Zinner. IMO, the probability of a really good seedling is excellent from these nuts.


#531

Dax,
I haven’t been able to see Hark available for sale as a tree or scion. I do have two native pecans I may be able to get fortunate to try and graft a scion too?


#532

Sure. Hit me up next year whenever you’re ready to graft and I’ll send appropriate size scionwood that you request.

Dax


#533

That would be great! Thanks


#534

Thanks to good advice on this form I have my scab problem under control. It’s ot gone but I’m getting crops again. I’m including pictures to get your opinion on how bad the scab still is. Also I would like the variety identified. The tree is about 25 years old and I think it had an Indian name.


#535


#536


#537

Sure looks like Oconee… but I don’t know.

When you get them cracked another photo of the kernels will help.

Dax


#538

The amount of scab shown in the photos is not enough to prevent pecan production. This may change with time as the scab organism adapts. Does not look like Oconee to me. Any info on where it was purchased?


#539

I bought it locally but I don’t remember where, we didn’t have big boss stores then so I figure it was a nursery. Also, to beat the squirrels and crows I have been picking them as the husk splits but is still soft and some membrane still connected to the nut. Am I looking any nut fill. I figure it done filling.


#540

The nuts are probably filled, but they are still green. Let them dry indoors for about 3 weeks, then crack a few and see what they taste like.


#541

I figured they were fully filled but just wanted to see if I’m missing anything. I gather ad early as possible to beat the crows and squirrels.
One other thing; the branches are so droopy I have to print much higher up the trunk than I like to. Is this typical for a pecans or is it my variety?


#542

Pecan is a species that typically droops branches over time. I have trimmed a pecan tree so none of the limbs were within 20 feet of the ground and 5 years later they were touching the ground.