- Apr 15, 2009Hi, I'm new to this group and my name is Chris. I live in Illinois,
USA. I've been doing edible landscaping for about 10 years now and
I'm putting in about 1/2 acre on a friends land on an island on the
Mississippi river in a few weeks.
A friend of mine is nuts about native nuts. He has some stratified
pecan seeds from the northern most and shortest growing season of
their native range, which is the Missisippi River Valley to northern
Illinois. Pecans are the number one native nut from North America.
Most commercial pecans are grown in the South Eastern US and are most
famous in Georgia where they were adapted to but are not native.
Anyway the seeds that he has available are the most cold hardy and are
from an area that sees -25 degrees F (-32 C) and will mature nuts in a
160 day growing season. Most pecans need a far longer growing season
so these seeds will become trees that can mature nuts where few pecan
trees can. By the way, the wild native pecans are slightly smaller
(still a decent nut) and have what is often described as "more pecan
flavor" than the commercial pecans you may have seen.
Pecan trees (like many nut species) have male and female flowers both
that flower at different times and some trees do male first then
female and others do female first and then male you increase your
chances of having compatable trees the more you have, 5 trees giving
you something like a 94% chance of pollination success.
I am recommending getting ahold of Gary Fernald if you want some
seeds. His address is at the bottom of his message that I am passing
Here are a few maps to show you where they are from and to help you
decide if they will work in your area.
US Department of Agriculture Hardiness Map:
(Iowa and Illinois abreviated IA and IL where these seeds come from
are zones 5a and 4b)
Europe hardiness map for comparison: http://www.gardenweb.com/zones/europe/
USDA Pecan plant profile: http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CAIL2
I think that this plant would make a great addition to your edible
landscape or forest garden.
zone 5a, IL
Iowa Native PECAN Seed For Sale
Gary Fernald - Nut Tree Evangelist -
President Iowa Nut Growers Association
Pecans will grow and produce in the north, in fact, they are
native all along the Mississippi River Valley to Dubuque, Iowa. The
pecan strains “native to Iowa” means they already know what hardy is.
As they say, it is in their genes. They have proven themselves capable
of growing and producing even further north into Wisconsin and even
parts of Canada.
I have a limited supply of the pecan cultivar “Mullahy” which
has proven to be the best sized and best cracking northern native
pecan in our trials. I located the “Mullahy” pecan on the Jim Mullahy
Farm in 1976, after returning home from the Northern Nut Growers
Association’s 67th Annual Meeting in Brownwood, TX. The USDA pecan
breeders had inspired me to search out northern early ripening types
for their breeding work. Graft wood cuttings were collected the next
spring and seed nuts were planted and evaluated for the next few years
until a bolt of lightning blew the original tree to smithereens. From
those first Mullahy grafts other trees were propagated and are now
producing crops across in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Indiana, and
The interest and exploration for northern pecans spawned other
activities and intrigued others. Canadian NNGA members got involved in
exploring for the most northern natives. Over 100 pecans near
Belleview, IA. were located and tagged as research trees. In 1979, a
group of NNGA members collected a good supply of seed from these
remaining hardy stands of pecans for a seed distribution. The revenues
generated help funded the first northern pecan research trial with 57
grafted clones at the University of Nebraska. In subsequent years, I
have planted 5 separate preservation plantings (4 non-gratis) on Corp
of Engineers ground from Muscatine, IA. to Galena, IL. My goal was
that these trees provide a publicly accessible in-situ orchard of
native pecans as a seed resource for future plantings. These preserve
plantings, mostly unmanaged, have been sorely tested by mother nature.
They have survived the spring frosts, the cold winters, the drought
years, and flooding (remember 93) as well as the continual threat of
deer browsing. Despite all the odds many of the trees are producing.
GPS locations will be available in the future.
I thought in this year of 2009, which marks the 100th
anniversary of the NNGA, (meeting information available at
http://www.northernnutgrowers.org/), it would be appropriate to take
another step toward the goal of breeding even better northern pecans.
This Mullahy seed offered is open pollinated from an orchard of the
best early ripening commercial cultivars and should produce “some”
even more exceptional progeny. Forrest Keeling Nursery is growing
some for me and I will offer these seedling trees this fall. Seed
packets with planting instructions and larger quantities of stratified
pecan seed are FOR SALE this spring. I have made it a life’s work of
love to find, select, preserve, and improve these northern early
ripening pecans. This is truly an opportunity for you to have a part
in breeding improved northern hardy pecans. The prospect of hitting
the jackpot with a commercial super pecan for the north are real.
garyfernald@... or Gary Fernald, 416 East Broadway, Monmouth, ILL. 61462
20 seeds @ $10.00 ppd
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