Pecan trees are everywhere in the South, and many years they provide a bountiful crop. This gives the impression that pecan trees are carefree yard trees. Unfortunately, this is not the case. It can be very difficult to get a good crop of pecans without spraying your trees, and this is especially true if you plant commercial cultivars which lack disease and insect resistance.
Probably the biggest mistake a home orchardist can make is to go down to the local hardware store and pick up a 'Desirable' pecan tree. 'Desirable' is a terrific cultivar, but it takes top-quality management to produce a crop, and few home growers are going to be able to provide this care. 'Desirable' is extremely susceptible to pecan scab, and in most years this disease will wipe out an unsprayed 'Desirable' tree.
Below is a list of our favorite cultivars for yard trees, and some information on how to take care of your new tree.
- Amling - My favorite home cultivar, high quality medium sized nut.
- Elliot - A proven scab resistant cultivar, a top choice.
- Excel - Good pest resistance, large nut with thick shell.
- McMillan - Nice vigorous tree, good overall pest resistance, medium sized nut.
- Kanza - Similar to Elliot but cold hardy, good choice for north Georgia.
- Sumner - Moderate scab resistance, black aphids will be a problem, easier to find.
Not recommended for yard trees
because of scab susceptibility or alternate bearing