When someone says Pecan, I think pie. I love Pecan pie, Derby Pie is pretty good too. (Think Pecan pie and add some chocolate and good Kentucky bourbon) The Pecan tree, Carya illinoinensis- another Hickory, is a North American native tree whose range originated in the lower Mississippi valley but has spread throughout the South. It is adaptable to zones 5b-9a. A bottomland tree, the Pecan grows in full sun and while there are some pests, they are not serious problems. Missouri Botanical Garden has some great photos and a super link to a list of the pests.
A mature tree grows to a height of up to 100+ feet with a spread up to 70 feet. Notice the grand shape to this mature tree in Hampton. I was lucky to find a great number of examples of pecan trees near my ballet studio. It was one of those occasions where I never knew they were there! It helped that they were in fruit when I started looking for them.
The leaf is alternate, pinnately compound with anywhere from 9- 15 serrated leaflets. The fruit ripens in the fall –anytime from September to December. The tree is monoecious (one house) the male flowers are fuzzy catkins and the female flowers are small yellowish green. The nut is inside a thick hull that will crack open easily when ripe.
The light gray bark is smooth on a young tree becoming narrowly ridged. Fall color is that of other hickories, yellow.
Uses vary from food production for man, furniture, cabinets, veneers, to a great food source for wildlife. This is still a green nut.
Virginia Tech- brief summary
University of Florida- great detail, no photos
Vanderbilt- comparison tool with other Hickories
US Forestry Department- scientific detail, range map, no photo
|From swamp chestnut oak swamp white oak Learning Garden|
White Oak as well.
Next week – Swamp Chestnut Oak/ Swamp White Oak/