Wednesday, September 20, 2017

First pecan to shuck-split

   I spent some time today looking at trees in our pecan breeding plot. I was especially interested to see if our earliest ripening hybrid had split their shucks yet. Using our hydraulic lift, I climbed up into the canopy of the tree to find limbs loaded with fully ripen pecans (photo at right). This is a tree labeled as KT337, a cross between Pawnee and Greenriver. So far, this tree has demonstrated good scab resistance and is bearing annually.

   The nuts of KT337 are small in comparison to many modern pecan cultivars but are large enough to produce very attractive kernels (photo above).  The few nuts I pulled from the tree averaged 13/16 inch in diameter (21mm) and were 1.5 inches long (38mm).  The kernel was well packed inside the shell and the dorsal grooves were wide and "v" shaped (indicating the nut meat will fall free from all shell and packing material). I'll be keeping my eye on this one.

    To give you a better idea about nut size, I collected a few Pawnee nuts and peeled the nuts out of the shuck (Pawnee has not split shuck yet that's why the shell color is white). The photo above gives you a good visual reference as to the size of KT337.  The nuts are obviously smaller than Pawnee but not  unacceptably small.