Advice on growing pecan nuts

There are a number of factors that should be taken into account before planting pecan nut trees.

Advice on growing pecan nuts
Pecan trees are fast-growing and can become tall. They do best in well-drained soil.
Photo: FW Archive

Pecan nut trees are fast-growing. The nut, which is rich in protein, vitamins, carbohydrates and nut oil, has high nutritional value.

Climatic requirements
The pecan tree is well adapted to subtropical areas, but also grows well in areas with short, cold winters and long, hot summers.

Low temperatures and even frost in June to August promote successful budding and flower formation. In summer (October to April), the crop requires high temperatures for fruit growth.

Pecan trees have been established successfully in valleys and along rivers where winter temperatures are low and frost occurs.

In subtropical areas, only cultivars tolerant to scab should be planted, as the humidity is very high in low-lying areas.

Temperature, humidity and rainfall
The average monthly maximum temperature should be above 28°C in summer and below 23°C in winter.

High humidity and rainfall favour the development of scab. The ideal production areas therefore have short, cold winters and long, hot summers with no early or late frost and humidity below 55% during the greater part of the growing season.

Soil requirements: loose and well-drained
The pecan tree performs optimally in fertile, well- drained, deep soil with a loose to medium texture.

Source: ‘Cultivating pecan nuts’, compiled by DAFF with the ARC-Institute for Tropical and Subtropical Crops.