Many individuals always assume that pecans are a southern nut. This is most likely because first of all, Georgia grows a large amount of Pecans, and secondly because pecan pie is such a distinctly southern dessert. Not a lot of vacations go by without at least a pecan dish of some kind gracing the table. Most learn that pecan trees are a tough shrub that may grow in over half of the United States and as far north as southern Canada.
Native Americans found the pecan nutritious, easy to store, and easy to trade with. It was not until recently, however, that pecan trees had been found deep in the wilds of places like Wisconsin and Illinois. This is heartening because it means that if the rocky pecan tree can withstand the weather shifts of those states then it’s likely it can be adapted to grow in colder climates.
There are actually over 500 species of pecans in existence so that it’s not terribly surprising that some species of this tree would have the ability to withstand harsh northern winters. In actuality, the tree itself can produce nuts for well over 100 years. The only difference between the varieties of pecans is your shape and a small flavor difference. This is to be expected given different soil compositions, sun and heat accessibility, and access to a water supply.
But if you are going to try to grow your own pecan tree, it’s important to purchase the right one. Because there are over 500 species, choosing the tree that is ideal for your individual climate could be a challenge and is definitely a game of patience. For instance, the”Desirable” pecan tree species is native to Mississippi so it is going to flourish and produce best in warm, humid climates such as that of Georgia or Florida. However, the”Wichita” variety grows best in central and western Texas since it thrives best in arid environments. But be ready to wait. Even the most precocious of pecan trees, those which bear nuts of the fastest, still take about five years.
How the pecan tree originated in Texas makes it easy to believe that this is a sturdy tree given the climate variety of the Lone Star State. Recent discoveries of the tree in harsh, cold environments lead one to believe that what is known about the pecan tree is only getting started. All of this is fantastic news as it means that no matter where you spend your time eating in the table (especially during the holidays, that is the time of year when pecans market the best), you’ll be able to get some delicious, locally grown, pecan pie.