Growing a backyard pecan tree is easy and will provide you with nuts for baking and snacking in five to seven years, on average. The trees can reach 60 feet in height, so require a lot of space to grow. Pecan trees perform best in a warm, temperate climate that's arid to lightly humid. They may be damaged at 0 Fahrenheit so are not meant for northern winters. Buy your pecan tree in the spring then plant it right away.
Browse selected pecan cultivars to get an idea of what type of pecan tree you would like to grow. Pecans range in their harvest season, bearing age, disease resistance and fruit quality. The University of Florida recommends Cape Fear, Elliot and Moreland due to their nut quality and disease resistance.
Visit local nurseries to shop for pecan trees. Locate the varieties you want. If you can't find them, ask a staff person to recommend a suitable alternative that grows well in your area and displays a similar degree of disease resistance, nut quality or harvest time.
Avoid trees with stubby trunks, bent trunks or low branches, since these will not develop well. If you are considering a bare root tree, avoid those with weak or skinny roots or with few roots.
Select a tree with a long, straight trunk and branches evenly spaced around the tree trunk. Bend the trunk 20 to 30 degrees to one side, then let it go. The trunk should snap back to upright; if it does not (if it leans a little, for example), the tree has root damage.
Buy a good quality tree that passes your visual inspection.
Order a pecan tree from an online nursery if you're unable to find local pecan trees or need a specific cultivar. This is not recommended, since you cannot inspect the tree's quality or root health yourself.