En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - September 10, 2009

From: Johnson City, TN
Region: Southeast
Topic: Trees
Title: Pecan tree for Johnson City TN
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in E. Tennessee and was wondering if there are any pecan trees that can be grown here? If so, which type? I am a native Texan and love pecans. I would appreciate any information you can give me.

ANSWER:

Carya illinoinensis (pecan) can certainly be grown in Tennessee. This USDA Plant Profile does not show them growing in the extreme northeastern tip where Washington County is, but we believe that they probably would flourish there if the soils are moist. However, don't buy the ingredients for pecan pie quite yet; the tree is slow-growing, tends to bear nuts in alternate years and will not ordinarily begin bearing until it is 15 to 20 years old. The best nut production is on trees 75 to 225 years old. Here are the Growing Conditions from our Native Plant Database:

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Cold Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Rich, moist, well-drained soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Caliche type
Conditions Comments: The sweet, edible nut, makes pecan the best hickory for fruit production. The tree does not bear liberal quantities of fruit in the northern part of its range, but makes an interesting ornamental there. Susceptible to galls, twig girdlers, aphids, borers, weevils, pecan scab, tent caterpillars, and webworms. Slow-growing. Difficult to transplant because of a large taproot.

For more information, see this Floridata website Carya illinoinensi. As mentioned above, the young tree has a long taproot which, if damaged, could result in the death of the tree. So, you are going to have to begin with a very small tree, and let it grow quite a while before you can expect a crop. When it does begin to bear, you can expect small seedlings popping up everywhere, mostly planted by squirrels. They and other small mammals, even some birds, are going to be waiting for those nuts, too. The tree gets quite large and is not a good selection for a small yard. 

From our Native Plant Image Gallery


Carya illinoinensis

Carya illinoinensis

Carya illinoinensis

Carya illinoinensis

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Feeding live oak and redbud trees from Fredericksburg TX
October 23, 2012 - Can you please tell me what to feed my live oak and texas redbud trees that survived the drought? We have granite soil.
view the full question and answer

Ornamental plants for under live oaks
September 08, 2008 - What ornamental plant will do well under Live Oak trees?
view the full question and answer

Distinguish between Huisache and Goldenball Leadtree
March 23, 2008 - How do you distinguish between Huisache (Acacia farnesiana) and Goldenball Leadtree (Leucaena retusa)? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Hiring a landscaper in New Jersey
July 28, 2008 - Soon I will be hiring a landscaper to plant a privacy line of arborvitaes with a 1' retention wall and I need some help on prices. The quote I was given, which included 48 arborvitaes (and I will ac...
view the full question and answer

Austrian pine in landscape in Denver CO?
May 30, 2009 - I'm relandscaping my yard and want to use all or mostly native plants, as I want to create a wildlife. My landscape designer has indicated she wants me to use Austrian Pine in as a specimen tree in t...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center