Harvesting Pecans

Are you one of those lucky homeowners who has pecan trees in their yard? Ever get tired of bending over and picking up all those nuts?
Harvesting pecans can be a tedious task if you are picking them up by hand. Follow these simple tips to keep more pecans for your own consumption.
Pecan nuts fall off the tree for approximately a three-week period, versus a one-day drop. It is important to gather the pecans every day. If you are not battling competition from squirrels, deer, and turkeys, you might be competing with crows.
Did you know that crows are the number one culprit and consume approximately 15% of one tree’s harvestable nuts?
To make the pecans easier to gather includes keeping the grass mowed as short as possible under the trees at the onset of nut drop. This allows homeowners to easily see the nuts and collect them daily to ward off competition from wildlife.
Pecans that are left on the ground for long periods of time have the potential to rot. Collecting your pecans daily will help reduce this problem. Low grass heights will also allow make the use of a pecan collecting tool easier than bending over and picking up the nuts by hand.
A variety of pecan collecting tools in different designs are available in garden retail stores and online.
Once you have harvested your pecans, store the pecans in a cool dry place off the floor or any other area that may contain moisture to avoid rotting. Refrigerated shelled pecans will stay fresh for approximately 6 months if in a sealed plastic bag. In-shelled pecans will be fresh for 9-12 months in the refrigerator.
Shelled pecans stored in the freezer will maintain their freshness for 2 years or more. The best way to preserve pecans is to place them while still in the shell in plastic freezer storage bags and keep them frozen until time to use them.
Frozen in-shelled pecans will remain edible or 2 additional years. That is, unless they end up in a pecan pie first!
Did you know that pecans can be thawed and re-frozen without the loss of quality?
Clemson Extension will be having their annual fruit tree fundraiser. If you are interested in an order form, please call the Extension office at 843-774-8218 extension 0. Pecan trees will be available for purchase.
For more information on pecans, please visit the Home and Garden Information Center website at hgic.clemson.edu.
Tune in on Tuesday nights to watch “Making it Grow” at 7 p.m. on SCETV or mig.org. E-mail Outen at [email protected]
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