How to Seed a Pecan Tree


A North American native, the pecan tree (Carya illinoinensis) is a large tree whose trunk alone can grow to 6 feet in diameter. Growing a pecan tree requires a lot of room in your garden, both above the soil and below. Agriculturists at Texas A&M University caution that you will need at least 3 feet of well-drained soil, above the water table, in order to successfully grow a pecan tree. Pecan trees can live over 300 years.

Step 1

Place the freshly harvested seed in an area that is dry and warm, but not hot. Allow it to dry for three weeks.

Step 2

Moisten enough sand in which to envelope the pecan and place it in a plastic bag. Push the pecan into the sand and secure the bag.

Step 3

Place the bag in the refrigerator and allow it to remain for three months. Periodically check the sand to make sure that it remains moist. If it appears to be drying, drip a few drops of water over it.

Step 4

Soak the seed in a bowl of warm water for 48 hours, stirring the water occasionally.

Step 5

Choose a location to plant your pecan tree. Make sure to place it well away from any structures.

Step 6

Dig up the planting area to a depth of 12 inches, breaking up any large clods of soil.

Step 7

Mix a 3-inch layer of compost into the soil with the gardening fork. Level the area with the rake.

Step 8

Push the pecan 2 inches into the soil and cover it with more soil.

Step 9

Water the soil, allow it to drain and then water it again. Maintain a moist, but not wet or soggy, soil. It is important that you do not allow the soil to dry out. Your pecan should germinate in four to six weeks.

Things You'll Need

  • Pecan tree seed
  • Bowl
  • Water
  • Sand
  • Plastic bag
  • Gardening fork
  • Compost
  • Rake


  • Texas A&M University: Pecan Seed Germination
  • Texas A&M University: Home Fruit Production--Pecans

Who Can Help

  • National Pecan Shellers Association: History of the Pecan
Keywords: seed a pecan tree, germinate pecan seeds, propagate a pecan tree

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations, worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.