Walnut and pecan
trees can be grown in lower elevations
of Adams County. If you are an impatient
person, better go read something else,
because this very satisfying endeavor is
definitely for those with patience.
However, ten years from now will come,
whether you plan to plant trees or not,
so you might as well gather a little
patience, do the planning, and get the
benefits in 2014.
Quicker but more
expensive alternative - You can go on
line and find several nurseries that
specialize in nut trees. Prices are in
the range of $8 for 3-4í walnut trees
from St. Lawrence Nurseries of Potsdam,
New York (not an endorsement). Also,
TyTy Nursery in Georgia will sell pecan
trees from $7.95 for 1-2í trees to
$149.95 for 9-11í trees (also not
intended as an endorsement). For a
couple of trees, these prices are
affordable, but if you want to plant 10
or 20, it adds up.
Slow and steady
wins the race and helps the pocketbook -
If you want a more do-it-yourself
approach with a lot of personal
satisfaction, stratifying and planting
your own nuts is the way to go. Put the
nuts, either pecans or walnuts, in a
plastic bag with a moist napkin and
store in the refrigerator over the
winter. In the spring, quickly move the
nuts from the refrigerator to the
desired place for planting, cover with a
couple of inches of soil, and mark the
ground. I say move quickly from
refrigerator to ground as they will
sprout as soon as they warm up, and the
tender white sprouts damage very easily
and then itís all over.
If you need to
hold the trees for a year before the
final location is determined, fill an
18" length of 6" flexible plastic drain
pipe with potting soil or compost, and
plant the nuts in the pipe. As these
trees are very much a tap root tree,
this will allow you to transplant within
a year without damaging the tap root and
thus killing the tree. Keep them moist,
water if necessary in mid-summer and
they need some direct sun.
making a poultry wire cage, about 6" in
diameter and 36" tall for the nut tree
to grow in, much like a tomato plant. If
you donít, the rabbits and deer will
have a bonanza and you may not get that
personal satisfaction I mentioned
earlier. Another option is to purchase
Ďtree sheltersí. These are light plastic
tubes made especially for this purpose.
They come in quantities of 50 for about
$125 or $2.50 apiece. I have a few that
I will provide at cost, first come -
first served, if you wish to try one.
Not many people will need 50 Ė however,
if the demand is great perhaps the
Master Gardeners, can be persuaded to
sponsor a bulk purchase. I feel that the
poultry wire will do the job for less,
but itís a scratchy job to cut, roll,
and fasten the ends of these shelters.
- If you go the slow and steady route
after a couple of years you will
probably want to graft improved
varieties onto pecan, or perhaps
Carpathian walnuts onto black walnuts.
There is a wealth of information on
grafting pecans onto seedlings. My
recommendation is to search the internet
and then contact the Master Gardeners
for further guidance, sources of
grafting materials, and suitable scions.
One of the items I use to graft is
grafting tape, a fairly hard item to
find locally; however, it can be
obtained through the Kansas State
University Pecan Experiment Station. I
can provide a few tapes to interested
parties; again, first come - first
served. Itís an elastic tape that will
stretch quite a bit and makes a vapor
tight seal around the grafts.
Calendar - Dr. Reidís publication at
has an excellent planning calendar.
Information Sources - Some of the best
sources are by Dr. William Reid, of the
Kansas State University Pecan Experiment
Station, Chetopa, Kansas. See address
listed above with planning calendar-
Bill is adjunct professor at the
University of Missouri.
is the site of information regarding the
endowment for the Reid Pecan Research
Fund in the College of Agriculture at
Kansas State, coordinated by Dr. Reid
and his wife, Dr. Brenda Reid.
is another good publication on pecans.
Both Texas A & M
and Oklahoma State Universities have a
wealth of information on the subject.
Oklahomaís address is http://www.hortla.okstate.edu/pecan/.
Texas A&M is http://aggiehorticulture.tamu.edu/extension/fruit/pecanhealth/pecanhealth.html
is the address for a $75 on line course
based on the fundamentals of pecan
management, which goes to show the full
extent of information available these
days on the internet.
other articles about trees
other articles by Bill Devlin