Pecan: Fun Facts About the State Tree of Texas
March 19, 2019
Fun Facts About Pecan Trees
We know that here in Texas, we like everything “bigger”, and our state tree comes as no exception to that rule. So, we thought we’d share a few fun facts of Texas’ favorite tree, the pecan!
- The pecan was named the official state tree of Texas in 1919.
- The name pecan is actually a Native American word “pacane” that defined all nuts that required a stone to crack.
- Pecan is the only tree nut native to the United States.
- The United States is the leading pecan producer in the world – growing 80% of the world’s supply – over around 250-300 million pounds per year. Georgia, New Mexico and Texas produce the most pecans.
- It takes about 10 years for a pecan to reach maturity and start producing nuts. Then, a tree can produce for an extremely long time – up to 100 years.
- Pecan trees will outlive us all, and some live up to 300 years!
- Pecan trees are monoecious, meaning they have both male and female flowers on the same plant. But, they develop these flowers at different times in order to pollinate with nearby trees instead of self-pollination.
- The scientific Latin name for pecan is Carya illinoinensis, meaning it is related to Hickory trees.
- There are over 1000 varieties of pecan, but only about 20 are commercial grown for pecan production.
- Technically, pecans are not actually a nut. They are considered a drupe: a fruit with a stone pit surrounded by a husk. The portion you eat is the pit – much like a peach has a stone pit (although one you can’t eat!).
- Pecans are some of the largest trees and grow over 100’ tall and 75’ wide, and can grow up to 24” in a single year.
- Pecan wood is highly prized for its beautiful wood grain & used for flooring, furniture and wood-working.
Pecans are such large trees upon maturity, most people do not have room to plant them in their small urban yards. But, you will find them in many open park spaces where they make wonderful shade trees. If you are lucky enough to have the space, make sure your pecan is planted in full sun. Luckily, pecans tolerate many soil types.
We love the majestic, resilient pecan and it is easy to see why it has become such an integral part of the Texas culture.
Posted: March 19, 2019