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A pecan grove in the south
Only healthy , true-to-variety trees from certified, reputable nurseries should be used where commercial production is desired. Commercial growers have learned there is no single variety superior to all others in every respect. Following are considered to be the most important factors in variety selection:

A pecan tree will pollinate itself providing the female flower is receptive when that tree is shedding pollen. In many new and improved varieties, that does not occur. That is the reason for planting more than one variety even if only a few trees are being planted. In large plantings, a minimum of three varieties, carefully chosen, enhances likelihood of good pollination and nut set.

Disease Resistance
To lessen production cost and minimize the use of chemicals, resistant varieties should be considered. USDA research scientists have succeeded in developing varieties with some resistance to diseases and also to insect pests.

Tree Bearing Age
Traditional varieties are generally slower to begin production. Most new and improved varieties begin significant production in 5 to 6 years, with nut presence in the third to fourth year.

Harvest Date
Generally, nutmeat from early-maturing varieties will be superior to later-maturing varieties. Varieties are available that mature from late September to late November. Marketing strategies, harvesting equipment and work force help to influence varieties chosen.

Alternate Bearing
By their genetic nature, pecan trees alternate bearing in peak production, which good management practices can minimize to some extent. Older varieties are more prone to alternate bearing than newer varieties.

Variety Characteristics


Mid-size nut, excellent sheller. Strong tree structure, bears at an early age. Recent USDA release.

Cape Fear

25-year-old variety bears pecans at an early age and matures late October. Excellent nut quality with high shell-out. It has a highly desirable nut count of 50-55 per pound and a very impressive shell-out of 55%.


Heavy producer and early maturing. Considered most preferred nut. Favored by growers capable of optimum management strategies. More subject to damage from breakage.

Gloria Grande

Very similar to Stuart, but with greater scab resistance. Excellent cold hardiness.


Large pecan with excellent nutmeat and above average shell-out. Heavy producer, which may cause some limb breakage.


Matures in September and tree bears at a young age. Excellent shell-out from thin shell nuts. Vigorous growing tree.


Proven over time. Consistent producer. Strong tree structure. Later producing then newer varieties.


Excellent quality, high shell-out. Early bearing, but late maturing.

Additional Information