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Common Name:


Scientific Name:

Carya illinoinensis

Family Name:



Pecan is the state tree. No pun intended but it is a large tree with a stately crown. Despite its popularity as a dual purpose shade and nut-bearing tree, many of the commercial cultivars are susceptible to foliar diseases that can hibit their ornamental appeal. Pecans also tend to be messy lawn trees, constantly dropping fruit, leaves, and twigs. Probably better landscape trees in the western portions of the state than in the humid eastern half. Consult your local certified professional nursery person or local extension agent for recommendations on the best cultivars for your locale.

Plant Habit or Use:

Medium tree, large tree



Flower Color:

Females inconspicuous, males in catkins

Blooming Period:


Fruit Characteristics:

Pecans in thin husks


70 ft to 80 ft, much larger in deep bottomland soils in its native environment


50 ft to 60 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Low Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Low Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: High Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

6, 7, 8, 9

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Best in deep well-drained soils, prone to Zn deficiencies on alkaline soils.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.