A grove of pecan trees

A pecan grove near Jay, FL in October 2006. ©Thomas Wright, UF/IFAS.

Pecan trees are a common sight throughout the South, as far west as Texas and as far north as Illinois. Native Americans used pecans as a food source for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans.

Interestingly, the inside of a pecan nut is actually liquid until it solidifies into a tasty morsel. Florida produces from five to ten million pounds of pecans annually.

While the nut is what instantly springs to mind, the tree is also valuable for its lovely dark green foliage. Pecan trees drop their leaves in the winter, and can grow to seventy feet tall.

Plant your pecan during the colder months to allow for root growth before spring. Be sure to choose a variety like 'Elliot' or 'Curtis' that has good disease resistance and is suited for Florida. Your pecan tree should start producing good crops in six to twelve years. Once it's mature, it may reach up to seventy feet tall.

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