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I have a three-four acre tract that has about 30 pecan trees growing. These were contributed by squirrels and crows. Right now the trees are about 8 yrs old, and someone told me that I should look into caring for them since I have an orchard for all intents and purposes....that in a few years, they could be very profitable.

Does anyone have any advice about these trees (or links)? I thought about pecans, but I also thought about pecan wood.
 

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agmantoo
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Around my place I would not get too excited with the volunteer pecan trees. It has been my experience that those trees that come up naturally from seed do not produce quality nuts. The trees will produce but the size of the nut leaves a lot to be desired.
 

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Doc said:
I have a three-four acre tract that has about 30 pecan trees growing. These were contributed by squirrels and crows. Right now the trees are about 8 yrs old, and someone told me that I should look into caring for them since I have an orchard for all intents and purposes....that in a few years, they could be very profitable.

Does anyone have any advice about these trees (or links)? I thought about pecans, but I also thought about pecan wood.
Doc, I'll assume these are all native pecans.

Eight years is getting a little old but I've grafted much older ones and that's what I'd still do - Graft them all. There are tons of varieties with different qualities such as disease resistance, date of mature nuts, size of nut, ease of meat removal, etc. Don't know where you are from but might try an agent. There might also be a pecan growers association in your state..

Reserve a tree or two for some oddities and great tasting but non-commercial varieties. I like Burkett for the flavor. It as a round nut.
 

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Definately check with your local county agent or extension office. They can give you spray schedules, trimming guides, and locate a grafting expert for you.

Native pecans have a market, too, and sell at a premium price due to their excellent flavor.
 

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Eight years old? Not too important---more important is how big are the tree trunks at grafting height. If there is any livestock in the orchard you want to graft at about 8 feet. High enough that cattle or horses cannot eat the leaves off the grafts.

I have grafted 6 inch trunks, but they heal much faster if 4 inches or less. It is possible to graft each of the scaffold limbs and re-make a large, mature tree. This is a lot of work and hardly worth it in most cases.

It is true that native pecans sell well and are tasty, but if you have a native orchard some trees will produce a nut that is large enough to use, some will make pecans so small that you can hardly use them. At eight years your trees should be close to bearing. If they are, you might graft the ones that produce only tiny pecans, keep the better natives. Drawback here is that by the time a pecan is bearing it may be too large to graft.

Ox
 

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My grandmother has about 100 acres of pecan orchard. Most of her trees are about 70 plus years old. All she ever does is fertilize them a little each year, and have lime spread around them every other year. Other than myself or my uncle keeping the grass bush hogged, that's about all she ever has done.

She has made a killing at times after a hurricane has blown through with selling the pecan wood to the furniture companies. I usuaully keep the limbs that fall out during the year picked up for her, and I use all of the wood for smoking my meats with.
 
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