Friday, July 20, 2012

I Have a Secret

It's a great big Surprise Secret, and by continuing to read this entry, you have to promise that you won't tell Mrs. ProfessorRoush about it.  Because, if She Who Has No Patience finds my secret out, she'll be like a child on a long trip, asking every 5 minutes how long it will be before we reach the destination. 

Okay, here it comes....you promise you won't tell her now, right?   I HAVE PECANS DEVELOPING ON MY PECAN TREE!  A whole dozen of them in fact.  That may not seem like a big deal to readers in Georgia, but believe me, while these might not actually be the first pecans to develop here in Manhattan, they're probably in the running to be at least honorable mention.  I don't know of a single other pecan tree in town.  Most local nurseries don't stock them.  Until a few years ago, a homeowner would have been told that they didn't grow here and if they did, they wouldn't produce nuts.  Well, nuts to that thought.

My pecan tree, a so-called Carya illinoensis "northern strain," was planted in 2003 and now stands at around 15 feet tall.  Pecan trees are supposed to require pollination from another pecan tree, so I've got another seedling about 50 feet away, and even though it's only 4 feet tall, it must have done the job.  Either that or I'm being fooled and these are the biggest gall wasps anyone has ever seen.  You see, I have to confess, I've never seen a pecan outside of the grocery store plastic bags.  I've never seen one actually growing on a tree.  Does anyone out there know how to tell when they're "ripe"?  Or how to process them?  I've got lots of reading and research ahead of me.

Mrs. ProfessorRoush will be very excited if I can surprise her with some fresh pecans.  She might even have to take back some of the mean things she has said about my gardening abilities.  Yeah, right, and I hear that while global warming is happening here on Earth, the glaciers are growing in Hades.  But an old gardener dream, can't he?

8 comments:

  1. Cool! (Literally and figuratively, I guess, since you're growing pecans further north than expected.) And, as an added side benefit, I've now learned how to tell developing pecans from developing walnuts! (The ridges on the outer husk of pecan.) I was wondering if my young trees, leftovers from the prior owners, were walnuts or pecans. Now I know they're walnuts. Thank you!

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  2. How exciting!
    As a displaced Southerner, here are my 2 cents:
    When that green "case" gets all dried and cracked, or when the pecans start to fall from your tree, they're ready. Normal "fall" time is in the ... Fall. Ha! Of course, that is during a "normal" growing season.
    KZK

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    Replies
    1. They'll probably fall by next week, given the heat this year. I need to get some water on this tree!

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  3. They look pretty small compared to the papershells I used to gather in Texas. Of course everything bigger there...ha. Maybe you wont have all the disease and insects that "bug" the tree down south. Eventually you may have to hook up a rope to your auto and shake it so the nuts fall(in the fall). he he.

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    Replies
    1. Greggo, Greggo, always talking about things being bigger in Texas.....

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  4. We catch snakes and other reptiles in Melbourne and found a load under a bit of tin under a Pecan tree! They weren's eating the nuts, but I think the rodents may have been and the snakes were following the rodents.
    Anyway, if you see a snake in the garden or farm, the best advice I can give is to leave it alone.

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    Replies
    1. I'll watch out for them when I harvest.

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  5. Usually the nuts will fall from the tree without their shells (if the squirrels don't nab them first).

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