Texas is the largest producer of native pecans. The warm, humid air and the moist, sandy soil found throughout Texas provides perfect growing conditions for the pecan tree. Varieties of the pecan tree are grown in every county of the state. In 1919 the Texas Legislature chose the pecan as the state tree. The pecan tree produces a delicious, high-protein nut and is often used as an ornamental tree in Texas home landscape designs.
Considered an attractive foliage tree, the Wichita is most often found growing in central and west Texas. Although trees grow rapidly in their youth, the Wichita tend to be slow growing adult trees. Branches form at narrow angles leaving them susceptible to breakage during high winds. The Wichita is a late-pollen-shedding variety of tree and is the most productive pecan tree in the state. Wichita pecan trees begin bearing nuts at 5 to 7 years of age. Wichita pecans have two purposes, they are sold in-shell or to a sheller.
Young Desirable pecan trees grow vigorously and are found in the humid eastern, central and southern areas of Texas. Desirable pecan trees are an early-pollen-shedding variety and will require 8 to 10 years to begin bearing pecans. The weak "V" structure of the tree limbs leave the tree susceptible to breakage during high winds and heavy rains. The foliage of the Desirable is light green and is not as attractive as the Wichita.The Desirable is not a heavy bearer but its pecans are considered high quality.
The medium-sized Cheyenne pecan tree is found in all parts of Texas with the exception of the northern panhandle area. The Cheyenne is very productive from an early age and bears high-quality pecans beginning at 5 to 7 years of age. Cheyenne pecan trees are an early-pollen-shedding variety. Trees have profuse lateral branches and the limbs are thin but are fairly strong. Foliage on the Cheyenne is an attractive, dark shade of green.
Found in the panhandle and northern parts of Texas, the Shoshoni is a late-pollen-shedding variety of pecan tree. Shoshoni's are highly productive trees that begin bearing nuts at 5 to 6 years of age. The Shoshoni is a cold-hardy tree and can withstand temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit without injury. Shoshoni pecan trees have deep green foliage, strong branch crotches and need less pruning than other varieties of the pecan tree.
A late-pollen-shedding variety, the Sioux is considered an excellent yard tree and is found in central and southwestern parts of Texas. The Sioux has nicely shaped leaves that are a shade of dark green and it has easily trained, strong and sturdy limbs. Considered a highly vigorous tree, the Sioux produces a good quality, easily shelled commercial pecan. Trees begin bearing nuts at a young age and the crop ripens earlier in the season than most other pecan varieties, which makes them less susceptible to late freezes.