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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.

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Tuesday - May 18, 2010

From: Granbury, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Transplants
Title: Transplanting and grafting pecan in Granbury TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I found several native pecans on my property this spring. Apparently they grew from nuts buried by squirrels. I put small protective fences around them and plan to dig and move them (bare root) next January/February to better locations when they are dormant. After a couple of years I want to graft them with graft wood from a nearby nursery. They are currently 6-15" tall. Is this a reasonable plan? (Especially the digging/moving part.) Thanks.

ANSWER:

Squirrels have always been busy gardeners, planting oaks and pecans where they were not wanted, and then forgetting completely what they did with them, as well as not knowing they might have to wait 50 years to harvest a crop from "their" tree. We have had many experiences of pulling out an unrecognized weed, and finding its roots emerging from a pecan. Carya illinoinensis (pecan) is native to Texas and is shown on this USDA Plant Profile as growing near Hood County.

According to the page in our Native Plant Database on this plant:  "Susceptible to galls, twig girdlers, aphids, borers, weevils, pecan scab, tent caterpillars, and webworms. Slow-growing. Difficult to transplant because of a large taproot." Here is a website from eHow How to Transplant Pecan Trees that should help with that first step.

Assuming you are able to transplant your baby pecan trees without damaging that taproot, we really don't know much about the grafting process. If a plant has been grafted onto another plant, or hybridized, or crossed with a different species, it no longer is considered a native plant in our context. So, we will have to go to our standby research technique, Googling the Internet, on "grafting pecan trees." Here are a few of the websites we found, one or more of which should answer your questions:

Helium How to Graft Pecan Trees

Pecanworld.com Grafting Tips

Aggie Horticulture Texas Inlay Bark Graft

Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service Bark Grafting Pecans

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Carya illinoinensis

Carya illinoinensis

Carya illinoinensis

 

 

 

 

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