Contact Us Host an Event 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

Different colors of Argemone spp. from McAllen TX
March 16, 2014 - I took pictures of at least 5 colors of pricklepoppy today. Is this common to have so many colors in one area? How do I harvest the seedpods and when is the best time to do so?
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

Do flowers on century plants grow century plants from Huachuca City AZ
September 06, 2013 - The flowers on century plants: can they "grow" century plants?
view the full question and answer

Germination period for Snow Mountain beardtongue (Penstemon purpusii)
March 12, 2008 - Why is the germination period for the Snowmountain Beardtongue so long?. I understand it to be approximately 690 days.
view the full question and answer

Growing butterfly weed as a girl scout project
July 30, 2012 - We have a group of girl scouts who want to sell 'crafts' at a farmers market. I am wanting to steer the moms and girls in a different direction. I was wondering if you think that butterfly weed woul...
view the full question and answer

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