How to Buy Pecan Trees in Texas

Overview

The pecan tree (Carya illinoensis) is the state tree of Texas. Not only is the pecan tree a desirable landscape tree that can live over 100 years, it can produce a crop of delicious nuts that can be eaten raw, roasted or used in a variety of dishes. Pecan trees should be planted in an area where there is a stable source of water at a depth of 6-8 feet. They do not grow well in dry or sandy sites and the pecan crop is not as large as when there is a reliable source of moisture. Pecan trees are susceptible to a variety of pests and diseases, but most problems can be avoided with proper care.

Step 1

Contact your local County Agricultural Extension Office and ask what varieties of pecan trees are suitable for the county in Texas where you are planning on planting pecan trees. Your extension office will also have information about how to plant pecan trees and spraying and maintenance information. This is important, because planting the wrong variety of pecan tree increases the chances of having mildew or other disease problems.

Step 2

Find a dependable source for buying pecan trees. The trees should be clearly labeled and the sales person should be knowledgeable about the different varieties of pecan trees they offer, such as the growth habits of each variety, number of years before a crop is produced, and growing requirements.

Step 3

Purchase container grown pecan trees as 4-5 foot whips well-rooted in a container without being root bound, which means the roots are extremely crowded. Pecan trees have a sizable tap root, which is a central root that grows straight down from the base of the tree. If you purchase a large tree in a small container, the tap root is often stunted or deformed, which can affect the growth of the tree. A good rule of thumb is to buy a tree that is no more than 1 inch in diameter 4-6 inches above the graft union. The graft union or bud is the swollen offset area where the upper part of the tree is grafted to the root system of another tree. Pecan trees are grafted to combine the desirable characteristics from two different varieties pecan trees. Non-grafted pecan trees are rarely seen in the nursery trade and usually not the best producers of pecans.

Step 4

Purchase bare root trees during the dormant season. The dormant season in Texas is from November to February. Bare root trees are trees that are freshly dug from the ground with tap roots intact. They should be planted as soon as possible after purchase.

References

  • Texas Pecan Trees: Pecan Tree Varieties
  • Noble Foundation: The Best Pecan Variety for the Site
  • USDA: Cooperative Extension System Offices
  • NMSU: Planting Pecan Trees
Keywords: pecan trees, growing pecans, planting pecans

About this Author

Based in Rockdale Texas, Jim Gober has been writing garden-related articles for 25 years. His articles appear in several Texas newspapers including The Rockdale Reporter, The Lexington Leader, The Cameron Herald and The Hearne Democrat. He is a Master Gardener and Certified Texas Nursery and Landscape Professional. He holds bachelor degrees in English Writing from St. Edward's University and Finance from Lamar University.