Pecan (Carya illinoensis)
Pecans produce one of the most appreciated nuts in the world. It makes large trees with a spreading crown. In Central European conditions it grows moderately strongly.
Pecan flowers are protandrous or protogynous. This means that first male flowers, then female (type I), or vice versa (type II), mature and pollinate on a particular tree, but never simultaneously. It is a permanent feature of each individual. For this reason, a single tree cannot pollinate itself and needs a partner with a reverse phase of flower ripening to bear fruit (always plant types I and II together).
The fruits are usually elongated with thin shells which, when ripe in autumn, break into 4 pieces, releasing a smooth and thin shelled nut with a tasty kernel inside.
In Central Europe, the problem in pecan fruit cultivation is not the insufficient frost resistance of trees, but the timing of the nuts' ripening. It is a plant better adapted to continental climates with long and hot summers. Due to too small doses of heat, the nuts may not mature before the frosts. The following pecans are the earliest of the early ones, have been tested in the Great Lakes region on the border between the US and Canada, and found suitable for cultivation in the climatic conditions prevailing there. There is a good chance that they will also bear fruit with us. As older plants, they will be frost-resistant in all Central Europe. Young ones should be covered for the winter for the first 2-3 years.
We currently offer the following varieties for sale:
I- Snaps Early, Starking Hardy Giant, Campbell's NC4, Dumbell Lake Large, Snodgrass
II- Deerstand, Warren346
Shellbark hickory (Carya laciniosa)
Produces large and tasty nuts. Apart from C.ovata, they are considered the best of the hickories (the pecan belongs to a different section within the genus Carya and is not a typical hickory).
The trees grow slowly but become large with age, but thanks to the relatively narrow crown they are also suitable for medium-sized gardens. They require fresh and fertile soil. The growth rate is poorly during the first two or three years after planting, because tap root have to be rebuild. After this time the growth slightly accelerates. To ensure pollination, at least two different varieties should be planted side by side. The first crops can be expected after 5-10 years. The varieties we offer can easily withstand the climate of Central Europe, and when covering young plants for the winter, also in higher latitudes.
We currently offer the following varieties for sale: Henry, Lindaur
Hican (Carya x nussbaumeri)
Natural hybrids of C. illinoensis x C. laciniosa or C. ovata. The name was created from a cluster of English words: hickory + pecan = hican.
Generally, progeny with C.laciniosa produce larger nuts, but C.ovata hybrids are more fertile. Some hican varieties are self-pollinating, others need to be pollinated by an Type I pecan.
The first nuts can be expected after 8 years. They taste more like hickory than pecans.
The trees reach an average height of 15-20 m, with a round, spreading crown. Due to their habit and foliage, they are highly ornamental. Frost resistance sufficient for Central Europe. We currently offer for sale the self-pollinating variety Burton.