Pecan trees, which are a kind of hickory, produce one of the most delicious nuts of any nut tree. More than 100 varieties of Pecan have been cultivated. Texas and Georgia are the largest producers of commercial pecans in the United States.
The Pecan can also be planted as an ornamental, but two Pecan trees need to be planted to assure pollination. In open settings a Pecan, which has a slow to moderate growth rate, will form a broad, rounded crown. Pecan trees grow best in full sun and should be planted in moist, well-drained, loamy soil.
The compound leaves of the Pecan range from 12 - 20” in length. The number of leaflets per leaf can range from 9 - 17, but will always be an odd number. Individual leaflets may be 3 - 7” long and 1 - 2” wide, sharply pointed at the tip, rounded or wedge-shaped at the base, and sharply toothed on the margins.
Pecan nuts form in clusters of 3 - 12. Noted for their flavor, the nuts are contained in thin-shelled, dark-brown husks with 4 ribs.
The bark of Pecan trees is light brown to grayish-brown with scaly ridges separated by narrow fissures.
Pecan trees are tolerant of the alkaline soils of Arizona and New Mexico, but will require supplemental fertilization in these areas.
The original range of the Pecan extended from Southern Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa southward to western Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. Crop trees can now be found throughout the southern U. S., north to Virginia, and in California, and Oregon.