Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Recognizing 'Giles' pecan

'Giles' Pecan
   'Giles' is a cultivar that originated in the Neosho River flood plain in Cherokee County Kansas, a couple of miles from the city of Chetopa. The original 'Giles' tree was found in 1930 as a native pecan tree in a grove owned by Mr. A.E. Giles. The cultivar was first widely propagated in the 1950's and became the dominate cultivar used in Kansas pecan orchards during the 1970's. Today, 'Giles' has been replaced in popularity among growers by scab resistant cultivars such as Kanza or Lakota.
    'Giles' nuts are easily identified in the field by an interesting characteristic not shared by other cultivars. 'Giles' nuts are often crooked. In the photo above, notice that the apex of the nut points to the right. In fact, the whole right side of the nut appears shorter than the left side. Crack the nut open and you'll find one kernel half shorter than the other (photo above). 
    Although every 'Giles' nut on a tree may not be "crooked", the vast majority display this characteristic to some degree.  Crooked nuts are not the result of disease or improper fertilization, asymmetrical nut development is controlled genetically.  This simple quirk of nature makes 'Giles' one of the easiest cultivars to identify from a nut sample.