Pecan propagation

Asked January 20, 2016, 10:01 AM EST

Why do virtually all the Internet sites that offer suggestions for growing pecans from seed expect you to eventually graft a varietal onto the seedling? There is a vague reference to sterility as the reason for grafting. Is sterility such a problem? Or is the problem one of lack of genetic trueness to the parent of the seed? Otherwise, should I expect these 'from seed' seedlings to produce healthy ornamental or commercial value trees when mature? Who do you trust to sell seed true to variety?

Maries County Missouri

1 Response

There is too much genetic variability in seeds. Trees could end up being good producers or lousy producers and many people do not want to wait until a tree seedling is mature to find out - a waist of years if the seedling ends up being a poor producer. Selective breeding will only take you so far - there is always going to be variability. If a grower or homeowner wants a good pecan with good production, then they will want to graft a proven producer's scion onto the seedling rootstock. I have attached a visual prepared by a friend for an example.