What variety of pecans do we grow?
There are over 180 types (varieties or “cultivars”) of pecans. At the Comal Pecan Farm we grow mainly four soft shell varieties:
- Pawnee – Generally harvested the last week of Sept. thru 1st week of Oct.
- Wichita – Generally harvested in mid-Oct.
- Cheyenne – Generally harvested mid to late Oct.
- Kiowa – Generally harvested late Oct. to early Nov.
We sell in-shell pecans in quantities of 5 lbs. or more, but will also fill smaller orders. For 5 lbs. we price at the current wholesale price, plus “a little bit” to cover our cost of handling smaller quantities (call us at 210-401-1927 for our current prices). This gives our customers the opportunity to buy the freshest pecans at close to what the wholesale buyers pay, and well below retail store prices.
We love all four of our varieties (FRESH PECANS TASTE SO GOOD……!); but, stop by to sample them yourself and decide which one you like best.
Pawnee variety pecans
The Pawnee is from a cross of Mohawk x Starking Hardy Giant, made in Brownwood, Texas, in 1963. The Pawnee variety was released by the USDA in early 1984. It produces an early-maturing, medium-size pecan, with high-percent kernel. Pawnees are ready for sale during late September, making them a good choice for the buyer who wants new-crop pecans as soon as possible during the harvest season.
Expected nut size and yield: 50 nuts/lb., 58% kernel
Wichita variety pecans
The Wichita variety of pecans is a big fan of most Texas pecan farmers. It produces the most pecans per tree of any other variety of pecans here in Texas. Over the many years of its development it has become ideally suited for the weather and environment of central and west Texas.
According to the University of Georgia’s Pecan Breeding Program, which was established in 1998, ‘Wichita’ is a selection from a cross between ‘Halbert’ and ‘Mahan‘ made in 1940 by L.D. Romberg at the Pecan Field Station in Brownwood, TX. In 1949, scion wood from this selection was distributed to growers for trial studies. It was named and released by Romberg in 1959 (Sparks, 1992).
If you decide to grow the Wichita variety in your home garden you should be aware that it has serious scab problems in humid areas. In addition it can be susceptible to freeze issues. The tree is very vigorous, productive and begins to bear in only 5 to 7 years. Wichita develops “V” limb angles that split and require careful training. It tends to be a poor-bearing, unattractive tree if it is not well managed.
The Wichita pecan tree is a late pollinating variety. This means it sheds its pollen later in the season. To ensure good pollination its important to plant within 300 feet of another tree that might pollinate earlier (for example, a Pawnee or Cheyenne pecan variety). Other trees nearby can also provide pollination assistant to a lone Wichita tree.
Expected nut size and yield: 61 nuts/lb., 59% kernel
Cheyenne variety pecans
The Cheyenne variety of pecans was released by the USDA in 1970, this tree produces an excellent nut that shells out bright, wrinkled, perfect halves. It matures during mid-season (about mid-October) and is a very popular cultivar for uses requiring perfect shelled halves.
Cheyenne pecans are a mid-season pollinating tree and it may have a natural resistance to aphids, which are a leading pecan pest. However, it will take some additional years to fully understand its aphid resistance profile.
Expected nut size and yield: 58 nuts/lb., 59% kernel
Kiowa variety pecans
Developed from a cross of Mahan x Odom in Brownwood, Tx. in 1953. However, isozyme and DNA analysis rule ‘Odom’ out as the pollen parent and indicate the cross to more likely be Mahan x Desirable. The Kiowa pecan variety was released by the USDA in 1976 and produces large, high-quality nuts with a high-percent kernel. It matures later in the season (late October, early November), and is a good choice for the buyer desiring a larger nut.
Expected nut size and yield: 45 nuts/lb., 58% kernel