A lot of folks stumble into this blog in their search for information about northern pecans. "Can I grow pecans successfully on my land and what cultivars should I plant?" These may be among the first questions asked by budding pecan enthusiasts, but before spending a single dime on nursery grown pecan trees, I think it wise to come to an understanding of the northern pecan tree's climatic adaptation.
By combining Cooling Degree Days information with the Freeze Free Period data, I can get a pretty good feel for where northern pecans will perform well. I always check local data instead of just relying on the over generalized maps shown above. My general rule of thumb has become that even the earliest ripening northern pecans need a minimum of a 180 day frost free period (based on 28 F) and 950 cooling degree days to properly grow and mature a nut crop.