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Don’t panic about your pecan trees

By Danelle Cutting

Rowan Cooperative Extension

Pecans are serious business, and if there is one thing I have learned over the years of being an Extension agent, it is that growing pecans is very important.

When pecan trees do not produce good quality or no nuts, our offices always receive calls of complaints, concerns and questions of how to cure what ails their beloved pecan trees.

Luckily this year we had good pollination and had fewer disease issues. The drought still caused problems with quality and size, but the nuts seem to be doing pretty well.

On my drives home I see lots of people harvesting the pecans since the recent storms helped knock the nuts down. The nuts still need to be dried out but I am sure you will have plenty of time and enough nuts to make your delicious pecan pies and sweet potato casseroles.

If your pecan tree did not do well this year, that is OK. Many pecan varieties are alternate bearing. This means that they will only bear every other year.

This can be rough when we have droughts, storms or years with lots of disease. If any of these situations happen when your tree is supposed to bear, it can be devastating. So, many of us say that when your tree bears a lot of nuts, you need to stock pile.

If you are interested in growing your own pecans, they will still take 15-20 years before beginning peak production, but there are new advances in varieties that do not always have alternate bearing years.

When selecting pecans, you have to have two different types to make sure you get good pollination. Pecans are listed as Type I or Type II. One of each type is needed so that the male and female flowers can be properly pollinated. You will always have to have at least two pecans to get proper pollination.

Cooperative Extension has some great publications on growing pecans and as always, I recommend taking a soil sample before you plant. Here is the link for Growing Pecans in North Carolina: http://content.ces.ncsu.edu/growing-pecans-in-north-carolina. If you do not have access to the internet, you can always call our office for a copy.

If you were able to harvest pecans this year, I hope your pies are perfect and that your pecan dishes are divine this holiday season.

If youwould like more information on growing your own pecan trees, contact your local Cooperative Extension Agent, Danelle Cutting, at 704-216-8970.

 

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