Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Adventitious sprouts on oak tree in Austin
April 26, 2010 - Hello, I have an Oak tree which was planted in about 2002, which has adventitious sprouts. The tree has always sent these up, and we cut them off below ground. The tree has always been a 'runt', b...
view the full question and answer

Will potted tulip rebloom next year
May 18, 2008 - We bought tulips that were in bloom in small pots in May, and planted them in the back yard. Now my friend tells me they will not come up and bloom next spring, that you must only plant tulips as bul...
view the full question and answer

How can I propagate Giant Ball Moss?
March 11, 2009 - Recommended methods for propagation of Giant Ball Moss? (Bromeliaceae, Tillandsia baileyi rose ex small) Thanks
view the full question and answer

Both large and small Century plants putting up stems from Cayucos CA
November 18, 2013 - I have a Century Plant that is sending up a stem. I am excited to see it bloom. I noticed that one of the small pups, about 4 inches tall, is also sending up a stem. I have not found a mention of pups...
view the full question and answer

Edibility of non-native garlic sprouts from Brancburg, NJ
March 12, 2013 - I have regular garlic in my refrigerator. It had sprouts growing out of it so I put it in a cup of water. Now that the stems are large enough to put in food, my question is.. Is that part of the garl...
view the full question and answer

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