Friday, March 9, 2012

Zapp! A potential new cultivar appears in Illinois

Zapp pecan
    Sixty miles east of St. Louis, Ralph Voss has become known as Illinois' pecan king. Ralph and his family have been involved in the pecan business for over 25 years, harvesting native nuts in the Kaskaskia river bottoms and growing grafted trees on their farm outside of Carlyle, IL. Part of Ralph's pecan business is to offer custom cracking for backyard pecan growers.  Using a Quantz air cracker, Ralph has seen thousands of seedling pecans pass through his shop. One large pecan, caught his eye--a nut from a backyard tree brought in by the Zapp family (photo above). He soon had permission to collect scionwood from the tree's owner and grafted a couple of trees on his own farm.

     Zapp looks to be about the same size as Stuart (photo at left) and may even be a Stuart seedling. However, Zapp ripens about a week earlier than Stuart or about the same time as Lakota. So far, Zapp has shown good resistance to pecans scab in Illinois. We will be grafting Zapp into field trials at the Pecan Experiment Field this Spring so we can observe the performance of this clone in Kansas.