Friday, August 21, 2015
Pecan kernels fill during August
Cultivars with early ripening dates have started packing the inside of their shells with nut kernel (photo at right). Warren 346, one of our earliest ripening cultivars, has developed enough solid kernel to put pressure on the inner wall partition, compressing those tissues and causing a distinctive color change (from tan to reddish brown). Peruque and Colby have laid down a thick layer of solid kernel but both cultivars are less than half way towards full kernel development.
As more and more solid kernel is deposited, the packing material is compressed tightly against the inside the shell until it becomes hard, brown and brittle. When nuts are cracked after harvest, the brown dust created by the shelling process is all that remains of the nut's packing material.