Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - May 30, 2009

From: Jefferson county, AL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Propagation
Title: Will sprouts under pecan trees become producing trees in Jefferson Co., AL?
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Do pecan trees that sprout up underneath existing pecans trees ever amount to anything such as producing and bearing pecans?

ANSWER:

Apparently so, because from this article, The Pecan Tree, by P. C. Andersen and T. E. Crocker, from University of Florida IFAS Extension we learned that they were harvested and eaten by Native Americans for many years before Europeans came to North America. However, you would have to be very patient, as Carya illinoinensis (pecan) rarely fruits before it is 20 or so years old, and much older trees are the best producers. And then, of course, you'd have young trees beneath the parent tree competing for space and nutrition. And since members of the Hickory family are capable of producing allelopathic substances and discourage competition beneath them, the parent tree might very well be committing nuticide on the babies below. 

If you were thinking of doing this in your own garden, you need to be aware that pecan tree propagation now is almost exclusively done through grafting procedures. Plants that have been grafted will not breed true through the seeds they produce. In our experience, squirrels would get pecans from pecan trees down the street, industriously hide them in our flower garden, and promptly forget where they put them. We just yanked them out when they appeared because we knew they would not be the same kind of pecan that was growing elsewhere. Our property, at that time, was on what had once been a pecan tree nursery, and the trees lining the street were all the products of grafting. 


Carya illinoinensis

Carya illinoinensis

Carya illinoinensis

Carya illinoinensis

 

 


 

More Propagation Questions

Overwintering Newly Rooted Hydrangea
September 05, 2013 - I am in the process of rooting a hydrangea shoot in a pot, should I bring this inside to winter? I thought burying the whole clay pot to winter outside, is this feasible? I'm in zone 6b. What would b...
view the full question and answer

How close to a male tree will a new female persimmon need to be planted to ensure pollination in Austin, TX?
June 17, 2009 - I have a male Texas Persimmon in the back corner of my yard. I would like to plant a female Texas Persimmon in the front yard, more than 100 feet away? How far away do you think they should be place...
view the full question and answer

Will blue eyed grass grow under black walnut trees?
January 18, 2016 - Will blue eyed grass grow under black walnut trees? I know the Siberian Iris is tolerant but the scientific names are not the same yet everything I read indicates that blue eyed grass is not in the g...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Simsia calva from Albuquerque NM
January 27, 2014 - Hi - I was given some simsia calva seed from the LBJ wildflower center. It doesn't have a lot of info about starting the seeds, so any help is much appreciated! I tried starting some outdoors last ye...
view the full question and answer

Plants that will grow under a magnolia tree.
April 14, 2010 - We live in California near San Diego and have a Magnolia Tree. We have tried to plant many types of flowers around the tree only to have them die. Is there a particular type of plant that we should ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.