John R. Pyzner, Graham, Charles J., Sanderlin, Randy S. | 10/23/2008 8:29:04 PM
Recommended Pecan Varieties for Louisiana Yards
The pecan tree is prevalent in Louisiana as a shade tree in the landscape and also as a source of nuts for home use. However, many plantings do not produce because of poor variety, poor site selection, lack of fertilization, or poor insect and disease control.
When selecting a pecan variety for home planting, the most important factor to consider is scab disease tolerance or resistance. While smaller trees may be sprayed for the first few years with small hydraulic sprayers, homeowners normally do not have access to high-pressure spray equipment required for season-long disease control on large trees. No sprays are required before the tree produces pecans.
Another fact to consider is that cross-pollination improves the quality and quantity of nuts produced. Unless other pecan plantings are within a 1/4-mile radius, two varieties with opposite blooming characteristics should be planted for cross-pollination.
The recommended varieties for home planting are listed and described below. These varieties are available from commercial nurseries and have proven to be the best ones to plant under Louisiana growing conditions. However, geographic location, even within Louisiana, will have an impact on nut quality.
Varieties highly susceptible to diseases should be avoided. Schley, Wichita and Desirable are highly susceptible to scab and should not be planted because of their need to be sprayed.
Please check with your county agent or extension specialist for more detailed recommendations and for information on site selection and care of planted trees. And, for more information on scab disease and other diseases and insects, please visit the LSU AgCenter Pecan Research-Extension Station website, listed at the end of this article.
Recommended Varieties: Late Pollen Shedding
Candy – Trees produce early ripening, small nuts (66 nuts/lb.) with thick shells and attractive kernels (48%) that have high quality and good flavor. Trees are vigorous with dense, dark green foliage and a strong framework. Trees begin to bear in four to five years, but will tend to bear in alternate years as trees grow older.
Elliott – Trees produce a round, small nuts (67 nuts/lb.) with a thick shell and a bright, well flavored kernel (53%). Nuts have excellent cracking characteristics. Trees bear in six to eight years. Elliott has excellent resistance to scab, but is susceptible to bunch disease. This variety has been widely planted in south Louisiana.
Recommended Varieties: Late Pollen Shedding (continued)
Sumner - Trees produce attractive, medium-large nuts (48 nuts/lb.) with a light, good quality kernel (55%). Trees bear at a relatively early age - five to six years. It is recommended for yard plantings because of excellent scab resistance.
Melrose – Trees are prolific producers of medium-large, oblong nuts (53 nuts/lb.) with bright, attractive kernels (57%). Nuts have excellent cracking qualities. Trees bear in six to eight years. It has moderate resistance to scab and shuck disease, but is susceptible to powdery mildew and bunch disease. This variety is recommended more for northern Louisiana because it often develops severe scab disease in southern Louisiana.
Recommended Varieties: Early Pollen Shedding
Caddo – Trees are prolific producers of football-shaped, medium-sized nuts (60 nuts/lb.), pointed at both ends with thin shells and bright attractive kernels (56%). Nuts have excellent cracking qualities. Caddo has moderate scab resistance and good bunch disease resistance; however, it is susceptible to black aphids and powdery mildew.
Oconee – Trees are good producers of large, oblong nuts (48 nuts/lb.) with thin shells and attractive kernels (56%). Nuts have excellent cracking qualities. Oconee has moderate scab resistance.
Jackson – Trees are consistent producers of large nuts (39 nuts/lb.) with medium shells and bright, well-filled, excellent quality kernels (53%). Nuts have excellent cracking qualities. Trees have low alternate bearing tendencies. Jackson has moderate scab resistance.