How to Identify a Pecan Tree in Missouri


Pecan trees grow wild in several areas of Missouri and the native northern pecan is widely cultivated, according to the University of Missouri. Identify pecan trees through their size and canopy spread, leaf structures and coloration, fruits and common growing regions in the state.

Step 1

Estimate the size of the tree. Pecan trees grow up to 70 feet tall with a canopy spread up to 80 feet wide.

Step 2

Examine the foliage. Pecan tree foliage features large, compound leaves with 7 to 13 narrow, tapering surfboard-shaped leaflets on a central stem. The leaves are medium green in spring and summer and bright yellow in the fall before leaf drop.

Step 3

Look at the fruit or nuts. Pecan fruit or nuts feature small green clusters of two to five, 3/4 to 1 1/2-inch long green fleshy husks in spring and summer. These husks split open in fall to reveal a pale, fawn-brown shell speckled or striated with black.

Step 4

Check the location. Pecan trees grow in the river bottom areas of central and southwest Missouri.


  • University of Missouri Extension: Growing Pecans in Missouri
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Keywords: pecan tree Missouri, identifying pecan trees, recognizing pecan trees

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An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.