Hey, guys. Have spent some time gathering the pecans that have fallen from my tree in my backyard. They're rather small, but I've shelled a few and they're quite tasty!
I'm just curious, what type of Pecan do ya'll think that I might have? The tree is in southwest Oklahoma.
I've owned the house for about six years now and the tree has put off some pecans in years past (not many whatsoever), but this year there are, by far, the most pecans that it's dropped! Last year there were none at all because the tree was completely overcome by web worm.
This year the tree is as healthy as ever and dumped approximately seven gallons worth of pecans! There were enough on the ground that I simply had to pick them up.
As you may know, pecans are native to Oklahoma, and those little dime-sized pecans have the characteristic small size and heavy dark marks of the native nuts. There is quite a bit of genetic variation from tree to tree among the native stock that appears as differences of shape and size; yours are a bit more round and a bit on the small size compared to native trees I'm familiar with around here. But I'm pretty sure that's exactly what they are. I'm jealous; all of the trees in my area are having an "off" year with very few nuts. And though small, the native nuts usually have very good flavor and are often preferred by many people over the larger named varieties.
A couple of years ago I attended a pecan seminar at the Noble Foundation down in Ardmore (highly recommended) and they had this pecan identification board for us to see and touch and study. I don't actually like their native pecan examplar because it has less markings than most of the ones I've seen, but it is the smallest and most round of any pecan on the board. Click the image for a HUGE photo of it:
Thanks for the warm welcome! And thank you for the great information.
With what little research I did, I was definitely leaning towards my tree being of the native variety. Thank you for confirming my suspicion!
Very informative chart. Who would've known how many different types of pecans there were! It wasn't really until 7-8 years ago that I truly realized that "pecan" was just a general term for the nut, and that there were actually tons of different kinds of pecans.
I made the realization on the side of a rural state highway and there was a pecan tree growing there with the nuts already on the ground and they were GIANT compared to what I was accustomed to. Growing up, my grandparents had a pecan tree in their backyard (also in SW Oklahoma) that was there when they moved into the house in 1960. It was, and still is, a gigantic tree. Each fall that tree would put off approximately 35-50 gallons of pecans. I don't recall a single year that it didn't put off that many pecans! Those were the pecans that I grew up with and were most used to. It's probably nearly a 100 year old tree if I were to guess. Looking at the chart, they were likely the Shoshoni(?)....4th row, 7th column. So when I discovered those pecans on the side of the road, I couldn't believe how HUGE they were! And then when I bought my house, I couldn't believe how TINY my pecans were. LOL But I truly think that my pecans have the best flavor of any that I've had....it could be my bias making me think that, but they really do seem rich in flavor. Hehe
I agree with you on the Native example on the chart. Could've picked a bit better specimen, I think!
It does seem like the smaller nuts have the best flavor. My land was a pecan orchard up until the late 40's-early 50's, so there's eight trees that are near 100 years old, and still producing (although they, sadly, appear to be reaching the end of their life span). As a kid, I also thought a pecan was just a pecan until I actually paid attention to the nuts produced by each tree. We have a couple that make large pecans with thin shells that peel easily, yet they tend to have more of a bland flavor. There's also a couple that make small nuts that are a pain to crack/peel, but the flavor is the best. The others tend to fall somewhere in between, in both size and flavor.
I've been saving some of the seedlings that come up each year after the spring rains and planting them in the spots where the original orchard trees have died over the decades. Hopefully they'll reach their early days of production before their parents finally die out (and hopefully I'm still young enough to get to see them start producing before I die, LOL).