Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Northern Pecan
Carya illinoinensis

Family: Juglandaceae (joo-glan-DAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Carya (KAIR-yuh) (Info)
Species: illinoinensis (il-ih-no-in-EN-sis) (Info)

Synonym:Carya illinoensis
Synonym:Carya pecan
Synonym:Hicoria pecan

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

14 members have or want this plant for trade.

Edible Fruits and Nuts

over 40 ft. (12 m)

over 40 ft. (12 m)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 29 photos.
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4 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral Malus2006 On Nov 4, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

Look like pecan could be moderately hardy to zone 4a - there are several speciments at the Minnesota Arboretum - you have to walk a bit as they are toward the back section of the nut collection - I don't see serious diebacks on them.

Positive Gregirv On Mar 16, 2007, Gregirv from Waverly, VA wrote:

Pecans grow quickly in my southern Virginia. They are planted in groves and orchards. They are strong trees and gave us no problems other than hurricane problems. We planted three 1 foot tall seeddlings in 1980 and they zoomed to over a hundred feet in 8 years, but provided thick trunks, strong wood and plentiful nuts.

Neutral Kameha On May 2, 2005, Kameha from Kissimmee, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Here in Central Florida, pecan trees grow weakly. They don't get quite as much winter chill as they should. They are a beautiful, very large tree so if you have a small yard this is not the tree for you.

Positive escambiaguy On Jan 19, 2005, escambiaguy from Atmore, AL (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have about 15 of these trees in my yard.One is over a hundred years old.They are beautiful trees that provide lots of shade.They are not problem free however.They will shed lots of limbs and sticks after storms(however I dont mind picking them up).Make sure to avoid injuries to the tree,pecans grow slowly which means they heal slowly.Also,if you live near the coast,plant them far away from the house,there large canopys make them easily uprooted by hurricanes.

Positive frostweed On Nov 26, 2004, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I have nothing but good things to say about the pecan tree.
We have two volunteer native trees that are beautiful, 30 and 20 years old. The 20 year old is just starting to bear fruit and the other one has been producing for about 10 years. The squirrels have a great time stealing the nuts and planting them all over the place, which gives us a lot of seedlings to pot and give to friends. However we don't get to pick many pecans from our trees, since the squirrels love them so much.
We do have neighbors who have cultivar pecan trees and they share with us because they they don't like to pick them, so we pick shell them and give some to them after they have been cleaned.
Carya Illinoiensis is native to Texas and other States.

Neutral melody On Apr 16, 2004, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

A great shade tree if grown away from patios and driveways as the nuts can cause a terrible mess as they drop and the leaf stems are messy in the fall.

Positive Wingnut On May 29, 2002, Wingnut from Spicewood, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Pecan trees can reach heights of 70 feet and live to 100 or more years, so pick your site carefully. They make great shade trees and the nuts they produce are incredibly tasty, especially the native variety. The natives are harder to crack than paper shell varieties, but worth it in my opinion. They really don't produce flowers, but green "catkins" about three inches long in early spring. The nuts are mature by fall, in time for Thanksgiving pecan pies.

Drawbacks: The natives do self-seed prolifically ~ I am forever pulling seedlings up out of my flowerbeds under the trees. If the catkins aren't swept off of concrete patios when they drop in spring, they will stain it.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Atmore, Alabama
New Market, Alabama
Mesa, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Huntington, Arkansas
Bostonia, California
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Kissimmee, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Umatilla, Florida
Tunnel Hill, Illinois
Indianapolis, Indiana
Benton, Kentucky
Vacherie, Louisiana
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Waynesboro, Mississippi
Lincoln, Nebraska
Roswell, New Mexico
Saint Paris, Ohio
Ada, Oklahoma
Altus, Oklahoma
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Burns, Tennessee
Alice, Texas
Arlington, Texas
Austin, Texas (3 reports)
Boerne, Texas
Brownsville, Texas
Cypress, Texas
Irving, Texas
Mc Kinney, Texas
Red Oak, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Spicewood, Texas
Universal City, Texas
Waverly, Virginia
Williamsburg, Virginia

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