ABOUT PECAN TREES
Pecans ( Carya illinoinensis) can grow to 20m wide and live for 1000 years. Young trees are frost tender, but are late to burst into leaf in spring and very cold-hardy once established. Because there are only small pockets of trees in New Zealand, nut production here is less reliable. Planting a selection of compatible, grafted varieties increases your chances of producing a crop and the more trees you plant, the better your odds. They like ample minerals but NZ soils have plenty of nitrogen for them. Don’t give them compost or any nitrogen which will encourage fast growth that will break in a wind (which NZ pecans are prone to do). Pecans are best eaten in the three weeks after harvesting, and are said to have a more delicate flavour than walnuts. After this, their high fat content means they start to go rancid.