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The pecan (Carya illinoinensis) is a species of hickory native to northern Mexico and the southern United States in the place of the Mississippi River.

The tree is cultivated for its seed in the southern United States, principally in Georgia and Texas, and in Mexico which produces almost 1/2 of the world total.

The seed is a fit for human consumption nut used as a snack and in a range of recipes, such as praline sweet and pecan pie. The pecan, in a variety of aspects, is blanketed in nation symbols of Alabama, Arkansas, California, Oklahoma and Texas.


“Pecan” is from an Algonquian phrase variously referring to pecans, walnuts and hickory nuts. There are many variant pronunciations, some regional and others not. The most frequent American pronunciation is the most frequent British one is. There is little settlement in the United States, even regionally, as to the “correct” pronunciation.


The pecan tree is a massive deciduous tree, developing to 20–40 m (66–131 ft) in height, not often to forty-four m (144 ft). It usually has a unfold of 12–23 m (39–75 ft) with a trunk up to two m (6 toes 7 in) diameter. A 10-year-old sapling grown in most advantageous prerequisites will stand about 5 m (16 ft) tall. The leaves are alternate, 30–45 cm (12–18 in) long, and pinnate with 9–17 leaflets, every leaflet 5–12 cm (2–4 1⁄2 in) lengthy and 2–6 cm (1–2 1⁄2 in) broad.

A pecan, like the fruit of all different participants of the hickory genus, is now not genuinely a nut, however, is technically a drupe, a fruit with a single stone or pit, surrounded through a husk. The husks are produced from the exocarp tissue of the flower, whilst the phase regarded as the nut develops from the endocarp and carries the seed. The husk itself is aeneous, that is, brassy greenish-gold in colour, oval to rectangular in shape, 2.6–6 cm (1–2 3⁄8 in) lengthy and 1.5–3 cm (5⁄8–1 1⁄8 in) broad. The outer husk is 3–4 mm (1⁄8–5⁄32 in) thick, starts offevolved out inexperienced and turns brown at maturity, at which time it splits off in 4 sections to launch the thin-shelled seed.



Pecan bushes being irrigated in Anthony, New Mexico
Pecans had been one of the most currently domesticated main crops. Although wild pecans had been properly regarded amongst native and colonial Americans as a delicacy, the industrial developing of pecans in the United States did no longer commence till the 1880s. As of 2014, the United States produced an annual crop of 119.8 million kilograms (264.2 million pounds), with 75% of the complete crop produced in Georgia, New Mexico and Texas. They can be grown from USDA hardiness zones about 5 to 9, and develop exceptional the place summers are long, warm and humid.

The nut harvest for growers is commonly round mid-October. Outside the United States, Mexico produces almost half of of the world total, comparable in quantity to the United States, collectively accounting for 93% of international production. Generally, two or extra bushes of specific cultivars have to be current to pollinate every other.

Choosing cultivars can be a complicated practice, based totally on the Alternate Bearing Index (ABI) and their length of pollinating.[ Commercial growers are most worried about the ABI, which describes a cultivar’s possibility to undergo on alternating years (index of 1.0 signifies the best possibility of bearing little to nothing each and every different year). The duration of pollination organizations all cultivars into two families: these that shed pollen earlier than they can get hold of pollen (protandrous), and these that shed pollen after turning into receptive to pollen (protogynous). State degree assets furnish encouraged types for particular regions.

Native pecans in Mexico are tailored from region 9 to region eleven Little or no breeding work has been achieved with these populations. A few options from native stands have been made such as Frutosa and Norteña which are encouraged for cultivation in Mexico. Improved sorts endorsed for cultivation in Mexico are USDA-developed cultivars.

This represents a hole in breeding improvement given that native pecans can be cultivated at least down to the Yucatan peninsula whilst the USDA cultivars have chilling hour necessities higher than appear in tons of the region. Some areas of the U.S. such as components of Florida and Puerto Rico are area 10 or higher, and these areas have restricted selections for pecan cultivation. ‘Western’ is the solely frequently reachable range that can make a crop in low kickback zones.

Breeding and resolution programs
Active breeding and choice are carried out with the aid of the USDA Agricultural Research Service with developing places at Brownwood and College Station, Texas. The University of Georgia has a breeding application at the Tifton campus working to pick pecan sorts tailored to subtropical southeastern U.S. developing conditions.

While resolution work has been finished seeing that the late nineteenth century, most acreage of pecans grown these days is of older cultivars, such as ‘Stuart’, ‘Schley’, ‘Elliott’, and ‘Desirable’, with recognised flaws however additionally with recognised manufacturing potential. Cultivars, such as ‘Elliot’, are growing in reputation due to resistance to Pecan scab.

The lengthy cycle time for pecan bushes plus monetary concerns dictates that new types go thru a big vetting system earlier than being extensively planted. Numerous types produce properly in Texas, however, fail in the Southeastern U.S. due to extended disorder pressure. Selection packages are ongoing at the kingdom level, with Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, and others having trial plantings.

Varieties tailored from the southern tier of states north thru some components of Iowa and even into southern Canada are handy from nurseries. Production practicable drops notably when planted similarly north than Tennessee.

Most breeding efforts for northern-adapted sorts have no longer been on a giant ample scale to drastically have an effect on production. Varieties that are handy and tailored (e.g., ‘Major’, ‘Martzahn’, ‘Witte’, ‘Greenriver’, ‘Mullahy’, and ‘Posey’) in zones 6 and farther north are nearly completely alternatives from wild stands. Kanza, a northern-adapted launch from the USDA breeding program, is a grafted pecan having excessive productiveness and quality, and bloodless tolerance.

Diseases, pests, and disorders

Pecans are a problem to a huge vary of diseases, pests, and physiological issues that can restrict tree boom and fruit production. These vary from scab to hickory shuck worm to shuck decline.

Pecans are inclined to contamination through bacteria and fungi such as Pecan scab, in particular in humid conditions. Scab is presently the most detrimental ailment affecting pecan bushes untreated with fungicides. Recommendations for preventive spray substances and schedules are handy from nation stage resources.

Various bugs feed on the leaves stems and growing nuts. These consist of ambrosia beetles, twig girdlers, pecan nut casebearer, hickory shuck worm, phylloxera, curculio, weevils, and countless aphid species.

In the Southeastern United States, nickel deficiency in C. illinoinensis produces a disease known as mouse-ear in timber fertilized with urea.
Similarly, zinc deficiency motives rosetting of the leaves. Various different issues are documented, which include canker ailment and shuck decline complex.

Food and wood


The seeds of the pecan are edible, with a rich, buttery flavour. They can be eaten sparkling or used in cooking, especially in candy desserts, such as pecan pie, a regular Southern U.S. dish. Pecans are an important ingredient in American praline candy.

Pecan wooden is used in making furnishings and wooden flooring, as nicely as flavouring gasoline for smoking meats, giving grilled ingredients a candy and nutty taste more suitable than many fruitwoods.

Nutritional price per a hundred grams
Energy Carbohydrates Starch Sugars Dietary Fat
Vitamin A Equiv.
lutein zeaxanthin
Vitamin A
Thiamine (B1)
Riboflavin (B2)
Niacin (B3)
Pantothenic acid (B5)
Vitamin B6
Folate (B9)
Vitamin C
Vitamin D
Vitamin E
Vitamin K

Evolutionary development

The pecan, Carya illinoinensis, is a member of the Juglandaceae family. Juglandaceae are represented internationally by using between seven and 10 extant genera and greater than 60 species. Most of these species are targeted in the Northern Hemisphere of the New World, however, some can be discovered on each and every continent besides for Antarctica. The first fossil examples of the household show up at some stage in the Cretaceous. Differentiation between the subfamilies of Engelhardioideae and Juglandioideae took place for the duration of the early Paleogene, about sixty-four million years ago. Extant examples of Engelhardioideae are usually tropical and evergreen, whilst these of Juglandioideae are deciduous and discovered in greater temperate zones. The 2nd foremost step in the improvement of a pecan was once an alternate from wind-dispersed fruits to animal dispersion. This dispersal method coincides with the improvement of a husk around the fruit and a drastic exchange in the relative concentrations of fatty acids. The ratio of oleic to linoleic acids are inverted between wind- and animal-dispersed seeds. Further differentiation from different species of Juglandaceae came about forty-four million years in the past at some stage in the Eocene. The fruits of the pecan genus Carya range from these of the walnut genus Juglans solely in the formation of the husk of the fruit. The husks of walnuts enhance from the bracts, bracteoles, and sepals, or sepals only. The husks of pecans boost from the bracts and the bracteoles only.


Before European settlement, pecans have been extensively eating up and traded by using Native Americans. As a meals source, pecans are a herbal preference for preagricultural society. As a wild forage, the fruit of the preceding developing season is normally nonetheless safe to eat when discovered on the ground.

Pecans first grew to be regarded to Europeans in the sixteenth century. The first Europeans to come into contact with pecans have been Spanish explorers in what is now Louisiana, Texas, and Mexico. These Spanish explorers were known as the pecan, nuez de la arruga, which roughly interprets to “wrinkle nut”. Because of their familiarity with the genus Juglans, these early explorers referred to the nuts as Nogales and Nueces, the Spanish phrases for “walnut trees” and “fruit of the walnut”. They referred to the especially skinny shell and acorn-like form of the fruit, indicating they had been certainly referring to pecans. The Spaniards took the pecan into Europe, Asia, and Africa opening in the sixteenth century. In 1792, William Bartram said in his botanical book, Travels, a nut tree, Juglans exalata that some botanists these days argue used to be the American pecan tree, however, others argue was once hickory, Carya ovata. Pecan timber is native to the United States, and writing about the pecan tree goes lower back to the nation’s founders. Thomas Jefferson planted pecan trees, C. illinoinensis (Illinois nuts), in his nut orchard at his home, Monticello, in Virginia. George Washington suggested in his journal that Thomas Jefferson gave him “Illinois nuts”, pecans, which Washington then grew at Mount Vernon, his Virginia home.


Pecan is 32 chromosome species that comfortably hybridize with different 32 chromosome contributors of the Carya genus, such as Carya ovata, Carya laciniosa, Carya cordiformis and has been suggested to hybridize with sixty-four chromosome species such as Carya tomentosa. Most such hybrids are unproductive. Hybrids are referred to as “hicans” to point out their hybrid origin.


In 1919, the thirty-sixth Texas Legislature made the pecan tree the national tree of Texas; in 2001, the pecan used to be declared the state’s professional “health nut”, and in 2013, pecan pie used to be made the state’s reputable pie. The city of San Saba, Texas claims to be “The Pecan Capital of the World” and is the web page of the “Mother Tree” regarded to be the supply of the state’s manufacturing thru its progeny.[35][36] Alabama named the pecan the legitimate kingdom nut in 1982. Arkansas adopted it as the legit nut in 2009.[3 California adopted it, alongside with the almond, pistachio, and walnut, as one of 4 kingdom nuts in 2017. In 1988, Oklahoma enacted a legit nation meal which covered pecan pie.


C. illinoinensis does now not develop properly from seed, so you’ll favour getting a small grafted tree from a respectable source.

Most specialists suggest buying a 4- to an 8-foot tree; this dimension has pleasant transplant success. We’ll supply you a few types that are recognized to do properly in a variety of states, however as we referred to above, you’ll choose to seek advice from your nearby extension workplace for the closing phrase on what will do quality in your area. In addition to native types, many cultivars have been developed.

Reid recommends gardeners in Kansas and Missouri seem to be for ‘Kanza,’ ‘Hark,’ or ‘Shepherd.’

Incidentally, Reid says gardeners in northern climes ought to remain away from bushes labelled as “hardy pecan.”

“It’s an advertising term,” he says. “It’s simply a wild seedling from Missouri.” Gardeners need to alternatively seem for unique cultivars recognised to do properly locally, he says.

Moving in addition south, ‘Amling’ does nicely in North Carolina, and Texans have true success with ‘Caddo.’ If you’re positioned up North, ‘Pawnee’ would possibly be for you. This cultivar has been regarded to develop with excessive yields as some distance north as Rhode Island, Michigan, and Washington, right for zones 6-9. A bit smaller in stature, this kind will develop to a mature top of 20-30 ft with a unfold of 15-25 feet

‘Candy’ is any other fantastic range that’s regarded for attaining productive maturity faster than different cultivars, and producing ripe nuts beforehand in the season. With a mature peak of 50-70 toes and unfold of 40-50 feet, these additionally develop properly in zones 6-9.

Finally, ‘Desirable’ is a cultivar that’s tough to resist, and it’s been an extensively planted industrial preferred when you consider that the ‘60s. This kind grows rapidly and it’s self-pruning, so you’ll get large clusters of massive nuts quicker than you may from different varieties. Keep in thought that this one frequently reaches mature heights and spreads of 75-100 feet


pecan plant

You’ll favour picking a planting website online cautiously to accommodate the measurement of the tree.

Plant C. illinoinensis at least 30 ft from any structures, extra relying on the cultivar, and in a spot that receives a lot of suns. Pecans require at least three toes of well-drained soil, so rocky areas with skinny soil don’t work.

These timbers are pleasantly capable to take up quintessential vitamins from the soil that has a pH stage of 6-7.

Pecans have to be cross-pollinated (usually by means of the wind) to reproduce well. If there are lots of these timber in your neighbourhood, you can probably get away with planting simply one. But if you are the lone place gardener developing C. illinoinensis, you would possibly want to plant a couple to get any harvestable nuts.

Dig a gap the equal depth as the root ball and two or three instances as wide. Break up the dug-out soil and substitute it into the hole. Water wholly and add a thick layer of mulch.

Another necessary thing to planting a pecan is the want to straight away reduce some of it off. The common guiding principle is to prune the pinnacle one-third of the tree, however, that wide variety can vary.

Lenny Wells, Extension Horticulture Specialist for pecans at the University of Georgia, advises that large bushes will require larger cutbacks, making the above-ground parts of the plant extra manageable for limited, immature root systems.

Keep in the idea that this kind of pruning ought to solely be executed on a dormant tree, and is frequently already executed earlier than a sale by means of many nurseries.

pecan tree pecan PECAN

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