Pecan Trees

Plant of the Week
January 20, 2007

Shelled pecansPecans (Carya illinoinensis) are large deciduous shade trees in the Walnut (Juglandaceae) family. They are quite tolerant of all Texas conditions. Supplemental water is needed in the Trans-Pecos area. They are healthiest in rich deep bottomland soils, but will adapt to lesser sites. They are the fastest-growing of all the hickories, but like the others of the genus, they are difficult to transplant because of their large taproot. While the foliage is fairly fine textured, the tree drops fruit (source of edible pecans), twigs, leaves, and sometimes branches, making it a less than perfect landscape plant. Pecan is the state tree of Texas.

Plant Habit or Use: Large tree
Exposure: Sun
Flower Color: Green, females inconspicuous, males in catkins.
Blooming Period: Spring
Fruit Characteristics: Edible nut enclosed in a thick leathery four-valved husk.
Height: To 90 ft.
Width: To 75 ft.
Plant Character: Deciduous
Heat Tolerance: Very high
Water Requirements: Medium to low
Soil Requirements: Acid to neutral
USDA Hardiness Zone: 5

Pecan TreeAdditional Comments: Tends to develop zinc (Zn) deficiency on alkaline soils, which can be corrected with applications of chelated Zn or foliar sprays; best reserved for use on large sites.

For more information on pecans and growing pecans in Texas, please visit this link at:


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