I’m just south of Brookings, so I went ahead and used Mesonet, the local colleges weather data system for info. If it’s correct, it appears we had 721 CDD, and 8003 HDD, for the year of 2020. We also had 17.5" of moisture, which is down 6.7" from normal.


I’m east of St. Paul. I’ve tried pecans several times without success, either winter-killed or rodents got one when the hardware enclosure tilted a bit. . My carpathian walnuts and butternuts are growing, at least, although very slowly, so I don’t know if I will see any nuts yet in my lifetime. Chestnuts also surviving, but have hardly grown at all.


Thanks. I can fully recommend if this data is on par for yearly averages that you should be growing:
NC-4 (155 days to break shuck split)
Mullahy (155 days to break shuck split)

Both these are at the top of the line (#1 & #2) for being recommended for areas outside the pecan belt with at least 500 CDD (but I’m not sure how many frost free days minimum is necessary.) What I can tell anyone is that Lebanon, Connecticut USA can mature kernels fully with 170 or more frost free days and having 500 CDD.

NBraun, when I looked at your data, 160 days was the lowest shown. You get more like 180 frost free days.

To conclude, both Lebanon CT. and your data are the same but you get more heat than Lebanon, CT.

NC-4 is an annual cropper while Mullahy is bi-annual mainly but does have a small crop one year and a large crop the next and the cycle repeats.

If you would like more information on other cultivars just ask. Those two as I said are the best two you’ll grow. Buy your trees large and request that any tree you order has been grafted 10" above the root collar or more. That will improve with hardiness and that problem with die-back on young(er) grafts.

Both you and @northwoodswis4 cannot and I stress cannot go wrong with hickories. Plant as many Grainger hickories at a ratio of 5-6 Grainger to 1 (another shagbark, I’d recommend Porter for instance but there are other great shagbark’s.) Shellbark’s are generally considered zone 5 hardy. So depending upon how cold your “zone 4” winters become, that’s up for you to decide. Definitely focus on as far northern selections of shellbarks when deciding if you’re going to grow them. I don’t have that data.



Thanks Dax, I’ll take a look into those varieties.

Would you have any nursery recommendations? It looks like there’s only one nursey that sells the Mullahy, Rockbridge, and they’re sold out, and Nolins is no longer accepting orders.

I’ll definitely look into the hickories, I’d never heard of them and they look really interesting.


The oft overlooked Achilles heel of nut trees is the rootstock. Graft a winter hardy top onto a susceptible rootstock and the result will be a frozen dead tree. This is mentioned quite a bit in the various walnut and pecan threads. I am particularly put off by the number of Elliott rootstocks used here in the southeast. Elliott is a very good rootstock, but tends to break dormancy just a tad too early in North Alabama and anywhere further north. For a zone 5 or further north climate, the best pecan rootstock will be a zone 5 hardy pecan. If you want to grow pecan in a marginal area, do due diligence to get a fully hardy rootstock.

You can dig out a bunch of sellers of seedlings. IMO, seedlings are an option, but grafted trees are usually a better choice.


Ditto Darrel’s caution about rootstock hardiness.
Some years ago, a pecan grower in far western KY planted about 1000 grafted pecans, sourced from a Southern propagator. While the grafted varieties were Northern/Midwestern-origin cultivars, fully hardy here, rootstocks were Southern pecan seedlings. A ‘test’ winter resulted in virtually all of those trees being killed outright, or at least back to the root collar… tops would have sailed right through, but the rootstocks couldn’t take it.