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Pecan trees - where to buy?

Posted by behaviorkelton 7-ish (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 13, 12 at 7:14

I'm hoping to start an personal pecan orchard here in East Tennessee. This probably isn't optimum Pecan country (clay), but I want to give it a try.

I'm in a zone 6 or 7 type area.

I have purchased three Elliots from a local guy because that is all I could find at the time, but am finding it difficult to find appropriate modern varieties and early pollinators. (I'm trying to stick to northern varieties)

So are there some well regarded pecan tree nurseries online?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

For your area, and northern/midwestern/far-northern varieties, the very best source is Nolin River Nut Tree Nursery, at Upton KY.
Another one is England's Orchard & Nursery, at McKee, KY - but Clifford recently indicated to me that he's probably going to be phasing out pecans/hickories/walnuts.

I'd recommend Major, Kanza, GreenRiver, Posey, the Yates series(68, 127, 145, 152, etc.), Oswego, as your go-to selections; some of the newer USDA releases like Lakota, Mandan, Appalachee, may be good. You might also find some good productive local selections that would be worth propagating.

Here is a link that might be useful: Nolin River Nut Tree Nursery


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

Lakeview Pecans seems like a good place, I have not gotten trees from them yet but they sound like they know what they are doing in the emails I have gotten from them. I am going to order from them in the fall. Its hard to source the more modern varieties, Nolin River always seems sold out when I look. I ordered trees from Cliff but the originals died and then one of the two replacements died.

Scott


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

Scott,
I had a look at Lakeside's website.
Most of the varieties they offer will not be suitable for an East TN location; the op probably needs to stick mainly to those selections bred for or selected in the northern/midwestern pecan belt.

Lakeside's varieties are mostly Southern and Western varieties, and may not mature nuts in his shorter growing season - and not many of them would be good choices for home plantings, due to scab and other fungal foliar diseases. Might be OK in a commercial setting with the equipment to spray, but not for home planting.
Following is a copy/paste from a several-years old response from Dr. Bill Goff, the 'dean' of Southern pecan growers and one of the premier experts on pecan, from a discussion thread on pecans(Southeast Coastal Gardening Forum) for home/low-input planting:
"Without sprays, I classify the following cultivars mentioned previously as terrible (meaning unlikely to ever produce a decent nut crop): Desirable, Nacono.
Bad: Meaning producing decent nuts less than half the time in the absence of sprays: Gloria Grande, Stuart, Cape Fear.
OK: Usually producing decent nuts: Curtis"

Of the varieties I see at Lakeside, I'd only consider Mandan, Lakota, and Pawnee; Syrup Mill(I have it here)and Oconee may mature their nuts in E.TN, and maybe Caddo, but they'd be 'iffy'.

Kanza and Oswego(a seedling of GreenRiver) are really getting rave reviews from the folks at KSU for production, nut quality, and scab resistance. I'd sure want them in the mix, and Major - 100+ years after it was first selected - is still hard to beat for this part of the country.


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

Thanks for the input!

I have Kanza on my list of trees I'm seeking...I'll look for Oswego, too.

I called Nolin Nursery, and he said that he can only take orders for January 2013.

Wow! The pecan tree biz must be booming! (I wonder why?)


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

You might consider planting peach trees in between the pecan trees. About the time the pecan trees get going good, the peach trees will be getting old. A twofer sought of speak.


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more pecan stuff

Forrest Keeling Nursery offers a number of good grafted pecan varieties, container-grown using their RPM system, but I've not researched whether you can buy retail/mail-order from them.
FKN offers grafted Major, Posey, Colby, Kanza, Lakota, Chetopa and Peruque - all good northern/midwestern selections that should do well for the op in E.TN.


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

Forest Keeling looks great, too... but totally sold out.

They are taking orders for this coming fall, though. That's probably good enough.

Fall is the optimum time to plant, right?


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

Lucky, I was looking for northern pecans this winter and the best places are all sold out. Forrest Keeling is another one that looks sold out. I ended up getting a Peruque from Starks, it came last week and looks to be good quality.

Scott


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

Peruque is a really nice little nut - early-maturing(around mid-September here), with a very thin shell and excellent kernel quality. I really like it - but...with that thin shell and early maturation it's a bird magnet, and pecan weevils really hit it hard, too. If you've got crows or jays, it'll be a battle to see who gets more nuts - you or the birds. Be sure to plan to institute some sort of bird and weevil control program - it's worth it.


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

Well, I'm going to give Womack Nursery a try. I ordered two Lakotas and two Kanzas. Somewhere around $110 for all and shipping.

They'll come bare root (in some sort of moss), so although I'm not totally comfortable with that, I'll give it a try.

Talking on the phone, they certainly seemed like a legit family operation and the guy I talked to said almost all of the same things that I have read in this thread.

Now, I'll need to post another question about how to plant a bare root tree!


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

Womack's is good.
One cautionary note, however: If you ever have a really severe winter, Southern pecan rootstock underneath a more cold-hardy selection may be damaged or killed.
There was a fellow here in western KY who planted several hundred grafted northern pecans, back in the early 1970s, but they were from a TX nursery(don't know that it was Womack, but might have been), and grafted on Southern pecan seedlings. Winter of '78 killed almost all of them - although the grafted northern pecan tops should have withstood the cold, the Southern rootstocks were killed outright, or at least down to the root collar.


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more

Do not amend the soil in the planting hole. Your trees have to grow in what's there, so they might as well get on with that task. Just put the same soil(minus any rocks) that you removed, back into the hole.
I killed most of the first grafted pecans I purchased by heavily amending the soil in the massive planting holes I dug - creating a 'bathtub' effect, and causing the roots to rot. Don't repeat my initial mistake.

Now, as to any issues that you might experience if these northern varieties are on Southern pecan rootstock - you can 'hedge your bets' by reading up on and practicing grafting, planting some good hardy northern pecan seedlings, and grafting to them with scions taken from your purchased trees once they make sufficient growth to allow collection of scionwood. Grafting your own is also a way to obtain varieties that are unavailable as grafted trees from the few nurseries that deal in pecans, as well as those that are in short supply or seem to be perennially sold out.
Wes Rice in Ponca City, OK, The KS State Univ. pecan research center at Chetopa, KS, and the Nebraska Nut Growers Assn all offer pecan(and hickory, hican, and black walnut, from Rice & NeNGA)scionwood for sale.


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

Lucky, do you think Sugar Mill and Caddo will mature for me? I was thinking about getting those two this fall.

Also thanks for the info on Peruque. I'm not sure I am going to keep it long-term, I am going to try to graft Major on the tree this spring and see if it grows out well as a double variety. My Major died and no place was selling it so my fallback plan is what is in operation here.

Scott


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

Scott,
They probably will be OK for you. Syrup Mill is one of the half-dozen or so newer selections that Dr. Goff and the folks at Auburn are recommending for home/low-input plantings; good scab resistance, so you're most likely to get good crops even without spraying.
I don't know much about Caddo, and don't know anyone here in KY/northern TN who's growing it. Oconee will mature its nuts most years here.


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

Womacks sells Giles rootstock from Kansas seed. These should be good for grafting onto later for northern regions.


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

Good info, Matt; thanks for that.
With that info, I'd be less concerned about ordering graftlings from Womack - and I'd bet that if you asked them, they'd tell you whether their northern/midwestern selections were grafted onto northern or southern pecan understock.


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

I tried calling them to ask today, but I had no answer. My Kanza and Lakotas get here probably Wednesday.
Hopefully they are on the appropriate rootstock.

Thanks for all the info... I'm enjoying pecan blog, too.


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

This is a decent thread that could stand to be read by a few more folks.

Here are a couple of links you might enjoy.
Georgia

Alabama

The best commercial varieties for northern Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee would include Major, Kanza, and Jenkins. I have Excel and Amling that were planted earlier this year, but they are not proven for North Alabama.

Pawnee has been a total waste of time for me because of scab susceptibility.

DarJones


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

I got few Excel planted just to pick at squirrels there very hard to crack thick hull no weak spots tree grows fast this year. I bough 10 pound they been back floor board truck year all still good colonels.


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

Lucky and all,
I see what seems like lots of good advice here, and I wanted to add some of my own questions. I have 5 pecan trees, 2 that have been in the ground for 4-5 years (Sumner and Pawnee), and 3 that I planted recently (2 Kanza and 1 Stuart).

I'm in NC. There are old trees near me, but I always have to drive about an hour SE to find local pecans for sale, so I know I'm definitely beyond the good pecan areas of NC, and I know even those areas don't compare to Georgia, Alabama, Texas, etc.

This year I've had trouble with branches ripping down from my two older trees. The central leader of my Pawnee got twisted/splintered down, so I pruned it to a T, and then one of the arms of the T twisted/splintered down later. I figure I ought to prune out the other arm this winter, starting over basically from just a big stick. The Sumner had a major limb rip out. The trouble didn't seem to coincide with major wind. It seems really odd, but it makes me want to select varieties with strong limbs.

Another minor problem I have with pecans is that what starts out as the central leader each year seems to just runt out. A lower branch then typically takes over as the central leader and grows well, but it doesn't leave the nicest shape/form (and I wonder if it isn't contributing to the breakage problems). Sometimes the initial leader runts out to death. Sometimes it lives but just without hardly any vigor.

I'm surprised you categorized Stuart as "bad" for home planting, Lucky. It seems like most of the home plantings that are mature and producing near me (especially to the southeast, which would be northeast of Charlotte) are predominantly Stuart. I don't know how they compare in terms of alternate year bearing, but it seems like a lot of people get a very good percentage of nice nuts in no-spray, backyard-type settings.

I'm interested in getting another variety or two and would appreciate suggestions, though. I'm heavy on type 2 (4 of my 5 with just the soon to be limbless Pawnee as an exception), so I'm interested in type 1 varieties for the upper South (zone 7) with disease (and pest) resistance most important to me (after suitability to my climate), followed perhaps by limb strength. I had a Syrup Mill but it died (probably my fault.) Mandan seems like it could be good. Would anyone recommend any other varieties for me over those two?


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

I am liking this guy for advice and trees. Nolin Nursery
http://www.nolinnursery.com/Northern-Pecans.htm

He sells out of trees, so this is probably a good time to call. He seems to know a lot about pecan trees.

There are productive pecan trees far north of us in North Carolina and Tennessee, so I'm less worried about the cold than other things... like our clay soil!

I have a few more bare root trees coming this spring.

I've got no ideas about your breaking limb problem.


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

I spent a while looking at Nolin's website and found several things of interest. One thing I couldn't tell was how he ships his trees. I assume bare root? I guess he's shipping now through spring?


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

Unfortunately, he seems to ship rather late... mid spring or late spring. I'd prefer a bit earlier. I put my request for the next shipment a few months ago.

Anyway, he ships bare root. I don't know if you can request that they come in pots.

My four trees from last spring are doing ok... one seemed rather slow to do anything, but I suspect that all four will do much much better this coming season. It probably takes them a bit just to get their roots situated.


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

I was just looking back at the outstanding blog by the Kansas extension agent, Northern Pecans, and I got to wondering if I wouldn't be better off just to graft my heavily damaged Pawnee tree over to a better variety for my circumstances (like maybe Syrup Mill or Mandan). If I'm going to cut off the last notable remaining branch to try to get a straight tree, then it seems like a good opportunity. Never having grafted pecans before -- I've had good success with pears, irregular success with mulberries, and very limited success with persimmons -- what are the chances I could successfully graft a pecan? And is scionwood easily obtained and shipped?
Thanks again for any advice!


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

Floyd, pecans are hard to graft. I tried my first one last spring and it failed - it started to grow but then died. I probably used the wrong kind of graft, I did a whip and tongue and apparently bark grafts are the way to go for pecans. I think Cliff England is selling wood and there are other sources out there as well.

Scott


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

Oh in terms of sources for pecans I was looking around recently and found Bass Pecan which ships potted trees (for high shipping). I got a Peruque from Starks last spring that was a very nice potted tree. There is a great guy in NC, Lakeview Pecans, but he is sold out of everything already. Edible Landscaping also has a few potted plants. Womacks has a good selection, I think they are bare root though.

Based on how my few pecans have been doing I think potted is the way to go for pecans, even though shipping is more. My bareroot plants had poor establishment (2/3 died) and the potted one is out-competing the bare roots even though it was put in later.

Scott


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

E,
There are probably more acres of Stuart trees than any other variety in the US - but for home/low-input(read: no spray) there are better selections. I have a Stuart tree in my orchard, grafted from the old 100+ yr old tree at my ancestral home in AL - and it's producing a crop of mostly good nuts this year; but, in a scab-prone setting, it'll get hit hard.

They ARE harder to get successful grafts of than any pomefruit. I've been doing them for nearly 20 years now, and still wish I could reach a 50% success rate(if I counted, 25% success might look good). W&T will work - if you do it late in the dormant season(March, here). I do mostly simple bark grafts after the rootstocks break dormancy, or 3or4-flap grafts with larger-caliper scions.
Clifford England offers a good selection of scionwood; Wes Rice at Ponca City, OK also offers pecan, BW and some hickory scions, and the KSU pecan program does sell some scionwood - email Dr. Reid for a list. Nebraska NGA has sold northern pecan/BW/hickory scionwood in the past.

I suspect that Starks gets their potted grafted pecans from Forrest Keeling Nursery, just down the road from them at Elsberry MO. NRNTN trees are bareroot.


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

Thanks, everyone for the advice and information.

I know Lakeview. I'd get anything else I could from Lakeview. I got all my pecans from Lakeview, first from Bill Bunn, and then from his son-in-law after Bill died. His son-in-law met me with a couple potted trees along the interstate that last time he went to visit his parents just past me. I know disease resistant varieties for cooler regions aren't/haven't been their specialty (like perhaps Nolin), but they've expanded their selection some and now have the ones that currently look best to me.

Reading on Dr. Reid's blog, he makes it sound like pretty high percentage takes are quite obtainable if you wait until trees are pushing 2+ feet of growth per year and then you cut over half the tree away to bark graft (or banana graft). In my experience, the 3 already grafted trees I planted didn't put on that kind of growth until their 4th and 5th (this year) growing seasons (except one quit growing from the graft its 2nd season and I replaced it, and one that got there in its 4th season mostly broke/ripped/twisted apart this year.) I assume the trees were at least 3 years from seeding when I got them, so 8-10 years sounds like a terribly long time just to get a rootstock ready for grafting. That puts the seemingly very high cost of pecan trees in perspective. Lucky, are you following those guidelines of Dr. Reid when you get the percentage takes you describe?

If Pawnee (my tree that lost almost all its structure) ought to be replaced in my no-spray setting anyway, I suppose I should try grafting, even if the odds of a successful take are poor. If I fail this year, do you all think I'll be able to try again next year? The tree might be a couple inches in diameter, and it's been in the ground for 5 years already. It was maybe 15' tall and growing the best of any of the pecans I've planted before it twisted apart. What about my Sumner? Should I try to graft it over/replace it, too? It's the one well established tree I have that still looks decent. It won't hurt more disease-resistant trees to have more susceptible trees nearby, will it?

It would be nice if pecans would grow like the Chinese chestnuts I planted. I planted pencil-size one year old seedling chestnuts 5 years ago that are 20-25' tall now and have limbs stout enough to very safely hold my full weight. One started to produce a burr the year before last, and I expect they both would have produced several nuts this year if it hadn't been for the late freeze.


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

E,
It's Bill Reid's job. It's my hobby. I have to graft when I can 'steal' a few minutes or an hour or so here and there.
I probably don't give mine the attention and aftercare he does - and scion storage is a problem for me - I've not replaced the refrigerator in my barn, so a lot of my scionwood is stored in the home refrigerator or one at work. Maintaining constant temps is an issue - probably get some wide swings up and down due to routine use, and sometimes I find bags of frozen scionwood when I go to pull something out to graft. All the articles I've read caution against storing scionwood in the same fridge with fruit - but what am I gonna do, forbid the wife to buy apples/oranges?
Issues with viability of scionwood may (or may not) be the thing impacting my grafting success, as much or more than anything else.


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

Also lots of great information on growing Northern Pecans at this site.
http://northernpecans.blogspot.com/


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

Sorry.. I see now that you have probably looked at Bill Reid's blog.


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

His blog really deserves repeated recommendation, though. It's really outstanding.


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

Pawnee is one of the cultivars that does very well for my area. I've had fairly good luck grafting pecans.. So I wonder if it isn't because I'm grafting onto very hardy native northern trees. And yes, I will cut off a tree that is 6 to 10 inches in diameter and do some bark grafting.. Fascinating to watch the graft shoot up so fast.. That said, the after care, pruning etc., is where I have been failing miserably..Every Spring I like a little refresher course from Bill or another expert grafter that worked for the Missouri Agroforesty Center..
That said, if I am ever successful grafting a peach or nectarine, I am throwing myself a little party.


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

Pecans can be readily grafted if you pay attention to the details and use the right graft. Temperature is critical, pecans don't produce callus until the air temp is 70 degrees.

If you have never grafted pecan before, I suggest a cleft graft on a stub that is 2 to 3 inches diameter. Cleft is relatively successful even for beginners.

In order of ease and success:

Cleft graft

Modified inlay graft (made so that both ends of the scion are covered with bark)

inlay bark graft (with tinfoil and ziploc bag)

Banana graft (works best in KY and similar climates)

whip & tongue graft

Moisture is critical during the callus phase. Too much and the graft bleeds which almost always causes failure. Too little and the scion dries out which is just as bad. Commercial nurseries spend a lot of time and money getting the moisture right so the grafts will take. Most of them are using some form of the whip & tongue graft which happens to be highly suitable for nursery operations where moisture can be fully controlled.

DarJones


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

Hey another place for pecans to try is plantmegreen.com. I don't know how good they are but I just placed an order and will know soon. Normally I don't want to try out these new places but for pecans there is very low variety selection and many sold out, so I am willing to go out on a limb. Their Garden Watchdog profile doesn't have much in it. There was a thread here last month about someone having success through them.

Coupon code ADD123Holiday may get you a 20% discount, if that doesn't work PMGNewCust may get you a 10% discount.

Scott


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

Scott, were where you a few weeks ago with those coupon codes. I bought a few pecan tress from plantmegreen, but didn't see any discount codes. Anyway, I ordered them online, but had a hard time finding anyone that actually had them in stock and shipping. I was pleased with the actual pecan trees that they sent. This was actually my second order.... if I order anymore, I will try your discount codes - Thanks, Jim


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

Jim, what I have been doing lately is before any Internet order type the business name followed by the word coupon into Google, and then trying out any codes that pop up. They work frequently enough to make the effort worthwhile; most of the codes won't work so don't give up right away. I just saved 25% on an order of outdoor gear this morning by coupon Googling - code RIDICULOUS at Al's sports :-)

Scott


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

To follow up on plantmegreen, they were out of the potted plants I wanted and they emailed and asked what I wanted to do, I said replace with bare roots. I just got the bare root plants, they are huge and looked healthy and recently dug. They sent two of each as an apology for not having what I wanted in stock. So overall it looks like a good place to me. I got a Caddo and an Elliot from them.

Scott


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

I work for a company called Bentley Farms down in Valdosta, Georgia that specializes in pecan trees of all varieties. The farm itself is nearing 1000 acres with room to grow. We offer anything from Apache to Pawnee. We just got our site up and running so bare with us. Feel free to reach out to us or visit our website: georgiapecantrees.com.
Make a good day!!

Also, where can I see the program that offers coupons? I would like to offer this as an option.

Here is a link that might be useful: Georgia Pecan Trees


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

I live in East Tennessee near Knoxville, and I've just planted two pecan trees - Kanza and Peruque. I wanted just one pecan tree, but decided to make sure that the variety I have could cross pollinate. I got the Peruque as a pollinator but I'm sure the many Blue Jays and squirrels on my property (where they raid the existing black cherries and hickory nuts) will steal all the soft nuts. I'm hoping to get a taste of Peruque once in a while but I'm counting on the Kanza to produce for me in about 6 years. My soil is pretty heavy in clay, so I'm not sure if they'll do ok or live long enough for me to see the day of the harvest. I've got the potted grafted trees through Stark Bros, and they looked tiny but they were healthy. I've also got 4 other bareroots (3 Asian Pears and 1 Almond) from Star Bros along with the Pecans, and they're all budding well. I'm pretty happy with the purchases given all the varieties I was able to get along with a free shipping promo.

This post was edited by bluema on Wed, May 22, 13 at 13:53


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

bluema,
Kanza and Peruque are both high-quality nuts that should do well for you - and their pollen-shed/nutlet flower receptivity patterns should complement one another well.


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

Lucky - I actually ended up getting intrigued in Peruque after seeing your posts above describing its kernel quality, so you're responsible for my action! ; ) I'm just worried about my red clay soil, and I have no idea if the Pecans will be able to establish in my horrible TN soil. We'll see if they somehow do ok and present me with a few nuts in the future. I'm a curious one and I really want to taste a Peruque nut. I had a Pawnee along with a Kanza in my cart, but had to get the Peruque instead thanks to you.

This post was edited by bluema on Wed, May 22, 13 at 23:13


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

I now have Major, Lakota, Posey, Kanza planted... 8 in all.

The one's planted last spring are doing very well. The four I planted a few months ago still look like twigs with very small tuft of leaves.

I'll try to post of video of them on YouTube.... well, actually I have one, but it is mixed with tons of other stuff. I'll just use that, though. I'm knocked down by a cold and don't feel energetic enough.
Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciAWv7xt8zI&feature=share&list=UUat-hKvTVRC3HgsYHlYajSw

And actually, I planted the oldest pecans only a year and two months ago. (this is basically a video for my mom...to show her around the place)


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

Your garden will look amazing in a few years. You've got the trees I want but don't have the space for since I already have so many 70-100ft tall trees in my yard. I think I'll have to try to squeeze in an American Holly and Magnolia though.

It's probable that my pecans will live fine for the next few seasons since I've amended 2' x 2' holes with 50/50 organic soil/native soil. I'm just not sure if they'll live beyond that to start producing nuts as the roots discover the harder clay underneath.

I've had four burning bushes in MI that died after only two seasons. The plants were professionally planted, but I've discovered during the removal that the hired 'professionals' only dug about 1 feet and the roots did not venture out below to the very hard clay. Luckily the clay quality is a bit better here in TN, so I'm hoping the tress will do better and not die of rootbound. I guess only time will tell.


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

We'll see how these Pecan trees do, but I don't think the clay will be a problem.
Generally, I don't amend the soil. At the most, I'll allow some good topsoil to fall in the hole when replanting


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RE: Pecan trees - where to buy?

I hear that pecans are pretty delicate at least in the first 6 months of planting. I've made sure that I didn't go over 50% to allow the plants to naturalize gradually. I wanted to at least give them some initial vigor than leaving the delicate grafted plants to deal with the full blown clay straight from the nursery. This is pretty much what happened with my burning bushes - the roots surrounded by their soft black soil were basically sitting right on top of shallow hard clay underground pots, with no chance to naturalize with the surrounding native soil, so the roots never ventured out. Let's hope that we both get lots of tasty pecans soon.

This post was edited by bluema on Thu, May 23, 13 at 13:44


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