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Seed sources for southern pecans

 
Stephen Dobek
Posts: 48
Location: Rutledge, GA
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Hi everyone,

I'm looking for a place or places to get southern pecan seed stock.  I am starting a 2-3 acre nursery project in the fall and I'll need several thousand nuts.  I'd prefer seed from the Southeast, more specifically from GA and if possible from an orchard that is hands-off in terms of chemical inputs.

Not sure if there's an easy answer to this.  It seems like this is a case where knowing a grower is very helpful, and unfortunately I don't really have a connection at this point.

Thanks!
 
Jack Edmondson
Posts: 233
Location: Central Texas zone 8a, 800 chill hours 28 blessed inches of rain
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Stephen,

Are you looking for seeds (pecans) or seedlings?  If you are looking to plant your own seed stock to graft to later, one can walk the public spaces (forests, streams, parks, courthouse lawn (?) ) and find native stock.  Once these are a year or two old, then the graft wood can be attached.  I have a few good sources here in Texas for seedlings, but shipping may not be ideal.  There are other good sources closer to you.  You may want to contact folks on this list and discuss your needs and/or concerns with chemicals.

https://www.georgiapecan.org/pecan-tree-nurseries.da

If this is a DYI project to ensure purity of root stock, I would find an area of undeveloped riparian area or wood lot that matches your soil type.  Spend some time walking looking for native trees that thrive in that soil.  Harvest all the nuts you can and start them in a prepared bed to graft later.  This was my plan; but to keep my ag exempt status, I need to place the trees much sooner than I can grow them.  So I am working with one of the companies on that list to get a combination of root stock and grafted starts.

Always open to discussion on pecans as that is my focus right now.  Care to share your project?
 
Stephen Dobek
Posts: 48
Location: Rutledge, GA
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I'm searching for seed.

I thought there was a reason you wouldn't want to use native seed as a rootstock, difficulty accepting a graft or something like that.

There are tons of trees all over the place in Atlanta, I always identify new ones when I'm visiting my girlfriend there, but I don't know if I have the time to collect many thousands of seeds.

Project is in its infancy right now.  I'm working with a gentleman that manages several thousand acres across Georgia, everything from row crops to pasture to hunting land.  He's been working with a company that is interested in getting into the pecan game.  He knows me through my day job and knows I am obsessed with trees and asked me to help.  We have several acres to use, fenced and irrigated and I have access to a plastic layer and a good compost tea brewer.  Instead of buying seedlings we are thinking it might be cheaper to produce grafted stock on our own and supply this large scale planting.
 
Jack Edmondson
Posts: 233
Location: Central Texas zone 8a, 800 chill hours 28 blessed inches of rain
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Here are few link that might be informative I have found in my travels:

https://naldc.nal.usda.gov/download/IND43968576/PDF

http://pods.dasnr.okstate.edu/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-1012/F-6207web.pdf

http://extension.uga.edu/publications/detail.cfm?number=B1314

That sounds like a great project and a unique opportunity.  There are a bunch of videos and information on the web about grafting that will be helpful when you get to that stage.  The 4 way or banana graft seems pretty straight forward.  Keep us informed as this develops.  I would be very interested to hear about the progress.
 
Stephen Dobek
Posts: 48
Location: Rutledge, GA
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Is my understanding that you shouldn't use native seed as rootstock incorrect?  It makes sense that you would want to use native seed but I swear I read something that said otherwise.
 
Casie Becker
pollinator
Posts: 811
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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I have an unknown variety of pecan in my front yard. We have heavy squirrel pressure. Our first year here was such a heavy drought that we didn't get any pecans (the tree produced them, and the squirrels left a six inch deep pile of shells around the trunk) Since then we've gathered twenty pounds or more each year, even with the heavy squirrel pressure.

The pecans are decent sized, sweet, and easy to peel. I'm continually weeding them out of every bit of ground I have. Would you like me to send some to you this fall?
 
wayne fajkus
Posts: 440
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Will a pecan be true to seed? A soft shell planted will result in a soft shell being produced? I suspect that all soft shells have grafted roots.
 
Casie Becker
pollinator
Posts: 811
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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forest garden urban
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I don't know if they produce true to seed (I suspect not). But if you pull a pecan from a tree with characteristics you want, then it is guaranteed that at least one of the parent trees carries the necessary genetics for those traits, whether it's grafted or not.
 
Jack Edmondson
Posts: 233
Location: Central Texas zone 8a, 800 chill hours 28 blessed inches of rain
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Unfortunately, they are not true to type if grafted.  (that may apply to native as well.)  That is why it is good to find a vigorous native that came from seed itself for the best chance; and then graft your cultivar that you desire to healthy native stock.  But there is no telling what the grafted scion would produce as root stock.  It may be the best hybrid ever.  Pecans take 5-7 years to start producing nuts, so it is a gamble though. 
 
wayne fajkus
Posts: 440
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Thanks jack
 
The permaculture playing cards make great stocking stuffers: http://richsoil.com/cards
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