Seedling pecan

I have a pecan tree that is 20-30 yrs old. (I’m guessing) The next closest pecan tree is on the neighbors place across the street, a couple hundred yards away. Prevailing wind is not in my favor. I’d like to do something to help with pollination on my tree. I’m planting more pecan seedlings but I’d like to do something that would produce quicker results than 15 yrs. I’m thinking about topworking the tree, but with what? An assortment so that I have something compatible? In Virginia 7a. I forgot to mention that the tree is squirrel planted.

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Plant a grafted tree and it will produce in about 7 years rather than 15. You need to know if your tree is type 1 or type 2 to know what type of pollinator to plant for it.

I am a novice at grafting pecans, but I don’t think I would try and topwork a mature pecan. You might be able to graft another variety to 1 branch and leave the rest of the tree. Problem is it will take several years for your graft to produce and the mature part of the tree will be trying to overgrow and shade out the graft that whole time.

A couple hundred yards should be OK for mature trees, I know my parents tree is at least that far from it’s neighbor and sets crops. You must be unlucky and both trees are of the same type.

I have some 24 yr old pecans that I’ve been cutting the tops out of and topworking… these are probably some of the less-vigorous members of the 500 or so 2-yr seedlings that the kids and I planted in 2000. Standing at the top of a 10 ft stepladder, these are around 4-inch diameter… others are bigger, so I’ve limited myself to those in the 4-inch range at ~12 ft above ground level. Using a ‘Texas inlay bark graft’ method, similar to what’s demonstrated in the following video, but I’m usually putting at least two scions on each tree.
Pecan Grafting: Texas Inlay Bark Graft, "American Method" - YouTube.

I suppose you could put two compatible pollenizing varieties (a Type I and Type II) on - and leave some lower branches (maybe your seedling will turn out to be an ‘exceptional child’) and help ensure adequate pollenation if you think the neighbor’s tree can’t get the job done.

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First, “top work” may be the wrong term to describe what I am considering doing. I just was thinking to replace some of top growth with scion.

Second, I read on another thread that if there is another tree within a 1/4 mile it will get pollinated, and there are several, so maybe I shouldn’t bother grafting.

The advantage of grafting is to get known production genetics. An ungrafted tree is a crap shoot with the odds roughly 1 in 2000 of getting a decent tree. I grafted a seedling in my yard about 8 years ago with Lakota. Today, the tree is very productive with very good Lakota pecans. The ungrafted seedling part of the tree is pretty much useless and gradually being chainsaw pruned into oblivion.

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OP, another way would be to coppice the tree. It’s pretty radical, but it keeps the mature root system. But, it could kill the tree system.