USDA Organic Pecan Tree
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USDA Organic Pecan Tree
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Growth Facts

USDA Organic Pecan

Carya illinoinensis
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Who will love your Pecan Tree more—you or the birds? It's hard to say! Pecans are a gourmet treat for humans and for birds as well. Packed with protein, fat, and minerals, they are especially valuable to migrating birds, who need to take in lots of quality, high-energy food in preparation for their long journeys. Of course, winter-resident birds like chickadees, cardinals, wrens, nuthatches, jays, and woodpeckers also savor the sweet nuts. Pecans generally take about ten years to start producing crops, but in the meantime, your tree will still feed the birds! Songbirds dine on the many insects that feed on Pecan leaves.

Tread lightly, shrink your footprint, and let yourself grow with USDA Certified Organic Trees. Organic farming has sprung up drastically in importance and influence,  spreading worldwide the philosophy of deeply rooting nature in harmony and enriching the soil we stand upon. Benefitting the gardner, enhancing biodiversity, preserving nature's wildlife, and a true direction to protecting our environment. Choosing organic trees on your property, whether they are fruit, nut, ornamental, or shade trees, begins with their soil and cultivates change taking root in your backyard. Take one BIG TREE step for your garden, and one giant leap towards a greener world.

Growth Facts

The Story

The mighty Pecan is an American tree that has nourished both humans and wildlife here for thousands of years. It’s found primarily in the midsection of the country, where it follows the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. In these moist, fertile lands, it flourishes, growing more quickly than other Hickory Trees (Pecan is a type of Hickory). Thomas Jefferson was a fan of Pecans. He planted several at Monticello, and he convinced his friend, George Washington, to plant some at Mt. Vernon as well. Uncommon on the East Coast, Pecans were known as “Illinois Nuts” to Jefferson.

The Details

Pecans have a thin shell, making them much easier to crack open than other hickories. Still, small birds may have a hard time breaking into them. You can smash a few nuts with a rock or mallet and put the pieces in your birdfeeder for easier access.

What does it mean to be USDA Organically grown?

  • USDA Organic crops are grown exclusively on land that has gone without having non-USDA Organic approved substances applied for three years.
  • No pesticides for us, please! Organically grown crops are highly regulated on what can and cannot be used for pest control—worried about harsh chemicals that have been sprayed on your plant? There is only a small number of approved synthetic chemicals that are allowed to be used. Otherwise, farmers use strict biological, mechanical, and physical management practices.
  • Not just any type of seeds are used to grow and harvest organic plants: farmers can only use organic seeds or organically raised seedlings in their organic fields.
  • Only the best handling is allowed! Organic and non-organic crops are not allowed to be commingled or near each other. Cross-contamination can occur, botching the organic plant's purity due to non-organic substances that could have been sprayed on non-organic harvests; this would cause the organic plant to be considered compromised.
  • Fields are carefully cultivated through crop rotation and proper tillage practices to ensure that the soil and the soil's nutrients are kept at a happy balance. Animal manure, not sludge, is allowed to help infuse the soil with nitrogen to support the growth of the organic crops.

How to Grow

Just as Pecan appreciates low, fertile plains in the wild, it favors deep, rich, moist soil in the home landscape, too. It will certainly survive in drier sites, but it will grow more slowly there. Plant it in full sun and give it lots of room. Pecan Trees can get quite large and they live a long time—200 to 300 years! This is a hardy tree, tolerating winter temperatures to -20ºF, though it produces its largest crops in the southern states, where the growing season is long and warm.

Size Guide

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USDA Organic Pecan Tree