[NAFEX] Far Northern Pecan

Chex chex.rice at gmail.com
Wed Mar 7 14:05:13 EST 2007

All of this talk about Pecan Trees has me wanting to share with you
the fact that I live in close proximity to the northern most wild
native stands of pecan in the world.  Just for the record, I believe
it was Thomas Jefferson who named the pecan the "Illinois Nut" because
that is where it is native to.  Pecan (Carya illinoinensis) trees were
adapted to Georgia and are not native to there.  They are a
Mississippi River Valley phenomenon from the Gulf of Mexico to almost
as far north as Wisconsin's southern border.

Pecan's Native Range:

You will notice that Georgia and some other places associated with a
commercial pecan industry are not listed.

For the last few years I have been marking the GPS location of the few
native trees that remain and have been collecting the seeds,
stratifying, and germinating them for planting.

These pecan trees are unique in the fact that they are surviving on
the border of USDA Hardiness Zone 5a and Zone 4b and they are able to
ripen their nuts in a 165 day growing season with hot summers and cold
winters.  The nuts are smaller than commercial nuts but have "more
pecan flavor".

USDA Hardiness Zone Map:

The most Northern native pecan trees are supposed to be located
between Green Island and Belview, Iowa.   They are supposed to be able
to be found in a protected water fowl sanctuary.  I only found two
trees between a levy and the Mississippi River that were two young to
bear.  There are supposed to be bearing trees but I could not locate


Adams Island near Camanche, Iowa:  Put your canoe into the Mississippi
River at Iowa's Rock Creek State Park and make your way through slough
to the South East side of Island.  Two pecan trees are over 120 ft
tall.  There are a few younger bearing trees on a peninsula on the
way to the island as well as some trees that are to young to bear on
the shore at Rock Creek Park.


Swan Lake Road near New Boston, Illinois:  Some pecan trees can be
found between the levy and the Mississippi River.   More pecan trees
can be found near the intersection of Swan Lake Road and 20th Street.
Follow 20th Street North a bit and there are a couple more pecan
trees, you can even see them standing alone along the right side of
the road right before the road splits on the satellite map.


zone 5a, IL

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