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Carya illinoinensis

Hardiness Zones: 6 - 9   View Map
  • Yields thin, 4-angled husks in clusters of 3–6 that turn from yellow-green to brown as they ripen, they enclose a 1 1/2"-2" long, hard, oblong, light brown to reddish brown shell with a pointed tip and rounded base; the kernel is sweet
  • Begins to bear nuts in 6–10 years, producing an average of 70–150 pounds of nuts per year
  • Is prized in the woodworking world for its handsome grain
  • Features compound leaves that are up to 20" in length and consist of 9–17 spearhead-shaped leaflets that are 4–8" long, the leaflets are slightly toothed
  • Should be planted in multiples to ensure pollination
  • Has a lifespan of 300 years or more
  • Grows in an oval shape
  • Develops a deep taproot, making it difficult to transplant

Tree Details



Growth Speed


Scientific Name

Carya illinoinensis

Mature Spread

40' - 75'

Shipping Height

2' - 3'


This species is known as a tree for all uses. It serves as the nation’s most important commercial nut producer, provides great shade, and sports an amazing grain that makes it highly prized as wood for furniture and flooring. Texans have such an affinity for this tree that they declared it their state tree.

Whether you like to bake with it, buy chairs made of it or simply bask beneath its canopy, the pecan tree is one that serves us well.

Sun Preference

Full Sun

Soil Preference

Acidic, Alkaline, Clay, Loamy, Moist, Rich, Sandy, Silty Loam, Well Drained, Wet

Wildlife Value

The nuts are favored by squirrels, deer, raccoons, foxes, wild turkeys, wood ducks, crows, blue jays and several other bird species.


Early settlers loved these tasty nuts. They were not only great eating but also easy to ship and market in the cities for cash. But those pioneers went about gathering their bounty in a very unfortunate fashion. To get to the entire crop, they would chop the tree down, harvesting that season’s crop and leaving the tree to rot in the woods. This short-sighted approach led to the trees eventually becoming scarce.

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