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Lawn & Garden

Tips for Growing Pecan Trees in the South

The pecan tree is a large deciduous tree that can grow nearly 150 ft. tall and 80 ft. wide. Pecans are loaded with vitamins and carbohydrates and rich in protein. The pecan is in the same genus as the Hickory. Like all trees in the Carya family are not actually considered nuts, but instead, are considered to be a drupe. A drupe is a fruit with a pit that is surrounded with a husk. Other drupes include peaches, coconuts, apricots and coffee.


Because pecan trees thrive in areas with short, cold winters and sweltering hot summers, these trees flourish in states like South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, all the way to New Mexico. Pecans grow best between zones 5-9. Pecans are harvested around October and the U.S. grows more than 75% of the world’s pecans. Pecans are primarily used in pastries, cookies and are best known for its staple dish in the south, the pecan pie. Georgia is the largest producer of pecans with all the other southern states after them.


Because Pecan trees have male and female flowers (monoecious) that grow in different places of the tree, pollination can sometimes be tricky. Usually, the male and female flower matures ahead of the other, cross pollination will not happen and production is lost. This is why planting your pollinator within 150 to 200 foot of the other trees is recommended and it is also recommended that you plant 3 different cultivars for maximum pollinating time.  If a tree does happen to cross-pollinate itself, it will produce a smaller, less desirable nut.


There are 2 types of pecan trees. Type I, where pollen is matured and released first, then, about a week later, female flowers become receptive. Type II, the tree produces female flowers that become receptive first and then pollen after, when flowers are no longer receptive. This is why it is imperative that you cross a I and II to achieve cross pollination. This is not enough though, as some times a cultivar can have an off year and produce no pollen. This is where the 3rd variety comes into play to pollinate when the other is not.

Other related articles:

How to Grow Almond Trees

Which fruit trees are self pollinating and which require a cross pollinator?

How to Tap a Tree For Maple Syrup

Ingar’s Top 10 Trees for a Landscape in the South.

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Posted 2014-12-14T17:07:30+0000  by Ingar_HD_ATL Ingar_HD_ATL