The early 1900's was an exciting time for the naming and propagating of northern pecan cultivars. Names we know today, such as Major, Greenriver, and Posey, were first popularized back in those days. However, other cultivars from that era have largely disappeared from modern pecan orchards including; Busseron, Butterick, Hodge, Indiana, Kentucky, Niblack, and Warrick. It is interesting to me that Posey has survived so long despite some obvious flaws as a pecan cultivar. In 1925, Prof. A.S. Colby, from the University of Illinois stated, "The Posey is said to be the easiest of the northern cultivars to crack and is of good size. It has the reputation, however, of being a shy bearer."
In 1923, former NNGA President, T.P. Littlepage, made these observations about Posey. "The parent Posey tree grows in Indiana, and I had the pleasure of naming it. That tree is a good bearer, and it is the thinnest-shelled northern-grown pecan with which I am familiar. It is a very beautiful nut, with the exception that frequently one side of the kernel will not fill out as it does on the other side. It is not defective, but simply deficient." In the many years of growing and shelling Posey, I had never noticed that Posey produces kernel halves of unequal length. However, this year I took the time to carefully remove the shell from several Posey nuts. The photo above shows two examples of what I found. In every case, one half of the Posey kernel was shorter than the other. The difference was sometimes pronounced (nut at left) and at other times only slight (nut at right). Looks like Mr. Littlepage was right.
Posey is a unique cultivar in many ways. However, it is a cultivar that is fading, slowly being replaced by better northern cultivars.