Pecan – Finding Papershell

Q: At my former home in Texas I had two paper shell pecan trees and would like to plant one here. Do I need to have two different pollination types or can I get by with two trees of the same type.

A: “Papershell” is just a descriptive name given to improved varieties of pecan that have resistance to disease and insects and which bear reasonably-sized nuts. This is in contrast with some native, seedling pecans which can have nuts as hard as rocks. ‘Stuart’ was one of the first pecans described as “papershell”. When choosing a backyard pecan tree, choose one that has the most resistance to scab disease. Otherwise you might wait five years to get your first crop, only to find that the nuts abort before maturing due to this devastating fungus. The latest breeding and selection efforts have produced ‘Amling’, ‘Sumner’, ‘Elliott’ and ‘McMillan’. You will need two varieties for best pollination.You’ll likely have to go online to find my recommended varieties. Before trusting an online nursery, check their reputation at The Garden Watchdog, https://davesgarden.com/products/gwd/#b.

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