Wednesday, September 19, 2012

New early ripening cultivars to watch

    Tuesday, I looked at a few of the newer pecan selections we are evaluating to see how they were ripening in comparison to many of our standard pecan cultivars. I found four selections with shucks split.
    USDA 61-1-X resulted from a cross between Barton and Starking Hardy Giant (photo at right). Ken Hunt had evaluated this clone in central Missouri for several years and recommended that it may be better suited a little farther south ( ie. in SE Kansas). This clone has a thin husk that pulls away from the nut at shuck split. This characteristic should mean the nuts will dry on the tree long before we get a killing frost.
    The "City Park" clone came about by planting a Giles seedling in the riverside park along the Neosho River in Chetopa (photo at left). Years ago, I donated several Giles pecan seedlings to the city in an effort to beautify the park. Over the years, I've kept my eyes on these seedlings just to see what happens. One tree produced nuts early and often. Based on the large nut size, the tree we have now called "City Park" looks to be a cross of Giles and Mohawk. We now have this clone grafted at the Experiment Field for advanced testing.
   USDA 75-8-5 is a hybrid of Osage and Creek (photo at right). Thus far, the tree has been very precocious. However, it has been difficult to judge the nut size of this clone because our trees are still quite young and nuts produced on young trees tend to be small. However, as our trees get larger, the nuts of 75-8-5 have gotten larger, ever in a drought year.
  USDA 75-8-9 is a sister to 75-8-5 and has the same parentage (photo at left). Today, 75-8-9 had about 10% of its shucks split indicating that it ripens slightly later than it sibling. 75-8-9 has been a little slower to come into production but heavy nut production on a 4 inch diameter tree is not always a good thing.