Meat In My Pecans Are Soft/Rotten – What’s Wrong?

Q: My house has two giant pecan trees with lots of green pecans that have fallen off. I dried a tray of them but the nutmeats were soft or rotten. What am I doing wrong?

A: Our unfortunate Georgia pecan farmers are faced with a similar problem after the recent hurricane. Usually pecan nuts fall from their outer shuck to the ground when they are fully mature and ready to eat. If the nuts are almost mature and somehow fall from the tree with the green shuck still attached, the shuck can be manually removed and the nuts will dry to an edible state. It’s a messy and tiresome process. But if the nuts are not close to mature when they fall, nothing can be done to make them edible. It’s easy to use a handheld pruner to slice a few of your nuts in half. If the nuts inside are squishy or moldy, it isn’t likely you have anything to harvest this year.