Pecan trees grow q uite tall—up to 18 metres with a 12 metre spread. They are deciduous and prefer cool winter conditions. Pecans make a lovely shade tree in summer, and a small orchard of pecan nut trees would enhance any property. There are at least 160 varieties of pecan nuts grown, but only a limited number are available commercially. Check with your nursery for the variety best suited to your area.
Pecan trees do best in a heavy soil. They don't even mind clay soils. Plant young trees during winter. They need regular watering and fertilisation to keep them in vigorous growth. Apply compost, chicken manure and mulch at three monthly intervals for the first three years. The male and female flowers are borne on the same tree and pollen is air-borne, therefore rain during the flowering season will interfere with pollination. Early pruning is for shape only — later on the tree will need little or no pruning.
Pecans are very similar to walnuts but creamier and smoother. The outside shell is easy to crack, and many a happy hour can be spent simply cracking and eating the delicious kernels.
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