Scottsmith - plantmegreen pecans

You know that’s a good point. She specifically said the rootstock was Elliott, but you’re probably correct that she meant Elliott seedling.

I know this is an old thread, but I just happened across it, and thought I could add some info regarding PMG trees that some folks might find useful.

I ordered 8 pecans and 2 pears from them back in March, they were:

Type 1 pecans: 2 each of Oconee and Caddo
Type 2 pecans: 2 each of Zinner and Lakota
Pears: Orient and Pineapple

Pecans are on Caddo rootstock, pears on Callery.

In received them in a single box about a week after I ordered them. The pecans seemed to have good roots, including a decent taproot. They were about 2-3’ tall, and maybe a 7/16" caliper. The pears had very good roots, about 4’ tall, one was about 11/16" and the other about 9/16".

I could not immediately plant them because the soil was very wet, and we were busy with other things. So, I heeled them in a shady spot next to the old house. I made sure to keep the buried roots moist, and I covered the exposed parts with a light tarp to keep the deer from sampling them.

On Easter Sunday, we planted the pecans out in the south pasture. We dug the holes about 2 feet deep and a foot wide in somewhat rocky, but decent soil. We planted the pears by the barn a week later, in good friable soil. I mulched the trees with some pine mulch. I added wire fencing around the pears later because of deer, but not the pecans.

Over the course of the next couple months, the pecans very slowly came out of dormancy and put on some leaves and small branches. The pears took even longer, but starting shooting out little sprigs and leaves.

OK, fast forward to today. One of the pears, the thicker caliper tree, I forgot which variety, has gone crazy. It’s put on a lot of new growth, including some substantial branches and leaves. Its new central leader is now over 6’. The other pear has put on very modest growth, just a few little branches.

The pecans are a different story. It appears that both of the Oconee trees have died. I don’t know why, we planted them the same as the other trees. We did have a lot of rain in the spring, and it was cool weather, but the other trees had to endure the same weather. I think they might have died back in June or July. It’s odd that both Oconee’s kicked the bucket.

Of the other 6 trees, 4 have put out leaves and some small sprigs, the other two have not. They aren’t dead that I can tell, they show green under the bark doing a scratch test. They may have put out some leaves, but deer may have grazed on them. Before rutting season starts, I’m going to have to protect them somehow.

So, based on what others have said about success rate of planting bare root pecans, I suppose these results are somewhat typical. The real acid test will be how and if they survive our winters here. I know it’s a risk to try pecans in this climate, but thought we’d try. At least the pears are doing well.

Thanks for the report, subdood. I’ll give an update on my trees, also. One of the trees never leafed out and was completely dead. PMG replaced it at no cost. The other trees leafed out, and put out varying degrees of growth, but none have grown much. The one that has grown the least is “Creek”. It put out a few small leaves, and is still alive at least. We’ve had an extremely hot and dry summer here, so that has probably affected the growth. Hopefully, they’ll all survive the winter and put out better growth next year.

Hey Rob, good to hear a report from someone who’s bought PMG trees. I had considered calling them regarding my dead Oconee’s, but they said on their site that they don’t replace bare root trees. But, since they replaced yours maybe they’ll replace mine? Guess it wouldn’t hurt to ask. I can’t honestly say if those 2 trees leafed out or not, but I know the first two or three months they passed the scratch test.

And, like I said the two pear trees are doing very well.

How have your apple trees done where you’re at? You said you’re in TN, but I don’t know where. You have 5 varieties (Goldrush, Pristine, Honeycrisp, Grimes + Liberty) that I have and I was just wondering how they’ve done there.

In revisiting this I looked up my old PMG orders and I got a potted Caddo from them which has done very well. I thought I had ordered it from Bass Pecan but Bass was out of stock.

I have been 100% successful with potted pecans, I think its work the extra shipping.

I planted some cheapo “Northern Pecans” from two different sources. It took four trees to get two survivors. I don’t have my hopes up high for getting pecans, but have the room, so thought I would give it a try. Has anyone this far north ever gotten ripe pecans? (near St. Paul, Minneapolis)

I agree with Scott that it is worth the extra expense with potted pecans. In my experience I only get about 50% success rate with bare root pecans and that is with carefully meeting their watering needs. In the future if I was to use bare root pecans, I would stick them into pots until they developed substantial roots and then plant.

On a side note, William Reid at Northern Pecans has reported that the squirrels are already feeding on pecans. So I went ahead and wrapped sheeting around my seven year Sumner pecan yesterday. The Sumner tree is not really recommended for my area but it seems to do well here.


That tree looks real nice, Sam. Is this the first year you’ve got any nuts from it? I know they can take a while to start producing. How have your bare roots done?

You’d probably get even less survival planting bare root into pots. The damage is already done by the time the trees are planted. The roots are very sensitive to drying out before planting

I plant a years cherokee , Wichita and Pawnee ago and grabbed me very well the 3 varieties, potted trees were coming.

this year I will get my first fruits

Actually this is the fourth year I have gotten pecans from it. Planted it as a bare root in the winter of 2010. Three years ago I got something like a dozen pecans, then the next like about 40. Then last year about 135 or so, but about half were damaged by stink bugs or otherwise uneatable. This year I don’t have as many for some reason. The Sumner pecan is a late maturing variety with shuck split in about the second week of November. Haven’t seen any scab on it. I’ve got three other pecans trees that have not started bearing.

Bare root pecan planting for me is a roll of the dice is about all I can say.

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Wow, that’s a lot earlier than I thought you’d get them. Three years? I know that’s just one sample, but that’s encouraging. I thought most pecans didn’t bear regularly until 8 years or so. But, you had 135 in year 6, so maybe that’s the proper progression. Did the good ones have good kernel fill and flavor?

I tried to pick trees with good scab resistance due to our humidity. I would’ve liked Pawnee because I’ve had some great ones from back home in OK, but they are supposed scab magnets.

And I would’ve liked to have Kanza’s as they’re better in colder climates and great scab resistance, but PMG had run out of bareroot versions.

What are your other varieties, and when did you plant them?

subdood, this was the first year I really got a decent apple crop from most of my trees. Pristine is by far my favorite, and has done well here. Liberty has done well, but the apples have been kinda blah. Something keeps eating my Honeycrisp before I can get them, so they must be pretty good. The GoldRush last year were, ok, but pretty tart. May have picked them too early, and they would likely be better after some time in storage. Nothing from the Grimes yet, as I just put it in the ground last winter. The only apple tree I’ve really had any problems with is Sansa. I was constantly cutting out fireblight this year. The Sansa apples are good, though. They have a very small core, and taste pretty good. Another apple that has done well here is Williams Pride.

It’s worth a shot to see if PMG well replace your trees, but it may be a little late in the season, now. I communicated with them via email about my dead tree. I was initially told I’d need to pay shipping costs on the replacement. Then one day the replacement just showed up, and I never had to pay anything.

I’m in middle TN, about 45 minutes southeast of Nashville.

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Sam, how do stink bugs damage pecans? What do they do to them?

Let me clarify. On bare roots on pecans that I have had often there would be either no feeder roots at all or very very little feeder roots on them. So all the roots basically amounted to was about a foot and a half of tap root sawed off at the bottom.

My intentions would be to always plant the pecans well before April to give them plenty of time to adjust to the transplant and hopefully grow feeder roots before hot weather got to them. The problem I ran into with doing that was in my area it would nearly always be a case where either the ground was half frozen or just way too muddy to plant (usually the latter). In early January in 2010, I planted 3 bare root pecans, mulching them with leaves in half frozen ground. Ground thawed up and then they were in mud. Only one of the three lived.

Well the next year came and I said to myself that I am not going to do that again. So after receiving pecan trees, I started sticking them in 5 gallon buckets filled with moistened potting soil with holes drilled in the bottom for drainage. Watered them at the same time that I watered my potted blueberries. They leaved out and I assumed they were growing feeder roots so I left them in the buckets until the next spring when I planted them at a time of my choosing. Since I have been doing that I have gotten 3 out of 5 to live which is better than 1 out of 3.

I admit that with ideal soil conditions it would be better to go ahead and plant them. Better yet, buy potted pecan trees from a reputable company such as Bass Pecan.

Problem now is that I have a Mahan pecan that I would like to graft to a type 1 pecan. Do you have experience grafting pecans and if so what is your preferred method?

Stink bugs feed on pecans leaving dark spots on the kernels making them taste bitter.

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I’ve seen (and tasted but mostly avoided) those dark spots, but I didn’t know what they were from.

Years ago I paid extra money for extra large, cold hardy grafted pecan and black walnut trees from Nolin River nursery and all 4 trees thrived- I think it was Surprise black walnut that started producing delicious nuts in only 3 seasons. 15 years later the huge pecan trees are just making a scattering of delicious nuts. I’ve lost track of the black walnuts because they were moved (without notice to me) to a far corner of the property.

Nut trees do not have a fibrous root system so I don’t know why these trees did so well. The only nut trees I regularly work with are chestnuts and filberts which have never given me a problem, regardless of size. IMO, size shouldn’t decrease odds of surviving transplant if root to top ratio is same as the smaller tree. It is sexually mature trees that are consistently more problematic because they invest significant energy in reproduction- especially after root damage.

Over the past 20 years, I’ve amassed a collection of over 30 pecan varieties… most northern/midwestern varieties - but I have a few Southern and fewer ultra-northern selections. Scab pressure has been so bad the last couple of years, that I will no longer bother propagating varieties that don’t have good scab resistance. I don’t have the equipment - or inclination - to spray a pecan for disease/pest control.
For example… this year, Pawnee has a tremendous crop… but scab infection is so severe that none of the nuts will be of any use. Major and Kanza, on the other hand…sure, the nuts are smaller, but their husks and leaves are still in pristine condition, and I’m certain that in a month, near-perfect nuts will be falling from the husks.


Does anyone know if the “Northern Pecan” sold by Woodstock Nursery in Neillsville, WI, is scab resistant? If mine ever should happen to produce pecans after some unusually mild winter, I would hate to lose the rare crop to scab. Or can you spray for it after the fruit pollinates? If it takes 15 years to produce, like Alan’s did, I will be so old that I probably won’t give a hoot, anyway.