Pecan trees can grow up to 100 feet tall with a 70-foot spread, and they’re an excellent choice for updating your landscaping and food production. While they take some time to mature, they can keep producing pecans for up to 300 years. Discover how long it takes for pecan trees to start producing the buttery-tasting nuts that make the best desserts.

Is It a Nut or Fruit?

Something you may not know about pecans is that their botanical classification is a drupe, which is actually a fruit. Typical drupes have a single seed enclosed in a hard covering, and the pit you find at the center of a peach or cherry houses this seed. When a pecan tree bears “fruit,” the nuts we eat are the seed inside the hard covering instead of fruit.

Maturity Rate

The maturity rate of pecan trees depends on several factors, such as different propagation methods, varieties, and environmental conditions. On their way to maturity, the trees undergo drastic vegetative growth to develop a robust root system, grow taller, and produce branches. While many fruit trees begin bearing fruit within the first 1-5 years after planting, pecan trees can take anywhere from 2-10 years.

Factors That Influence Maturity

Although pecan trees can take a while to produce, many factors can influence how quickly they mature. While ideal climate, sunlight, space, and soil quality are necessary for any tree’s timely maturity, the propagation method is the most imperative for pecan trees.

Growing from Seeds

Growing from a seed is the most cost-effective way, but there are several downsides. For instance, the tree may be the same quality as the tree the seed came from, and it can take up to 20 years before you have pecans to harvest.

Growing from Seedlings

Starting with a seedling has much better odds than starting with your own seed, but this is only a good idea if you’re gifted in grafting. You should plant seedlings and then graft them the following year. After grafting, you could have pecans within 4-6 years.

Growing from Potted Trees or Bare Roots

These are some of the most common ways to buy pecan trees from a local or online nursery, and you should plant them during the dormant season, which is from December to early March, to avoid transplant shock. After planting, you could have pecans to harvest as early as four years.

Having a good understanding of how long it takes for pecan trees to start producing is essential before planting one. You shouldn’t expect your pecan tree to produce at rates similar to other fruit trees. In fact, they require patience and care, but the results are bound to be worth the wait.

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