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Pecan Trees and Flowers

    History

    • The name of the pecan tree is derived from a Native American word. The Native Americans used the nuts and other parts of the pecan tree for a variety of reasons. American Indians pressed parts of the tree to extract oils, roasted the nuts to create an easy-to-carry snack and ground the nuts to flavor different foods. While the trees are often prized for their edible nuts, which are still largely enjoyed today, the tree itself is an attractive landscaping addition. Pecan trees grow up to 150 feet in height with a wide, shade-producing canopy of dark green leaves.

    Growing Conditions

    • Grow pecan trees in USDA hadiness zones 6 through 9. Choose cold-hardy pecan hybrids for cooler northern climates. Plant pecan trees at least 50 feet apart to provide ample growing room. Pecan trees require a site where they will receive full sunlight and deep, rich soil. The roots of the tree grow very deeply and they need regular, heavy watering during the spring and summer growing seasons.

    Flowers

    • Pecan flowers bloom with male and female distinctions, but rarely on the same tree at the same time. Male flowers usually appear first in spring. The long projections on the flower petals look like thin tassels. Female flowers bloom later in the season, with petals tipped with ovules. In the fall months, nuts take the place of the flowers.

    Pollination

    • Because the male and female flowers on the same pecan tree will not bloom at the same time, the male flowers cannot pollinate the females. Without pollination, no nuts will grow. Pecan trees form nuts via cross-pollination, so you'll need to plant at least two trees if you plan to produce nuts. Pecan trees are pollinated through wind, not insects.



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