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Plants that fill a similar niche:
Carya illinoinensis Carya illinoinensis
Acer rubrum Acer rubrum
Quercus nigra Quercus nigra
Carya illinoinensis 'Elliot' has some common insect problems:
Growing Pecans in North Carolina
Black Pecan Aphid
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (North Carolina)
Twig Girdler
Carya illinoinensis 'Elliot' has some common disease problems:
Phylloxera on Hickory and Pecan
Cedar Apple Rust
Fire Blight

Elliot Pecan Carya illinoinensis 'Elliot'

Phonetic Spelling
KAIR-yuh il-ih-no-in-EN-sis
Description

Hardy pecan 'Elliot' is a cultivar tree in the Juglandaceae (walnut) family. It is widely planted in the Southeast, mostly for its delicious edible nuts that appear in the summer after an insignificant bloom and for its resistance to scab.  'Elliott' produces a small, teardrop-shaped nut of very good quality, usually in alternate years.

'Elliot' grows best in full sun. It tolerates clay, sand, and loam soils—neutral to acidic—as long as they are well drained. It has high drought tolerance once established.  Learn more about selection, planting, and care of pecan trees.

'Elliot' will usually grow 50 to 100 feet tall with a spread of 30 to 75 feet. The largest of the hickories, this deciduous tree has a uniform, symmetrical, broadly oval crown and is massively-branched. Large major limbs grow up and out from the trunk in a distinctive upright, spreading fashion. On older trees, lower branches become wide-sweeping, with their tips almost touching the ground. Trunks can grow to 6 feet in diameter. 

Pollination is the second most important factor in purchasing pecan trees. Pecan trees are monoecious: they have separate male and female flowers on the same tree. Pollen is not released when flowers are receptive, so pollination within and between the same cultivars is limited. Cultivars are separated into type I and type II for pollination purposes. 'Eliot' is a type II pollinator.  For optimum pollination, NC State Extension recommends planting at least three cultivars with at least one of each pollination type for best cross-pollination. All cultivars have positive and negative attributes, so do your research before purchasing.

Nut production can be reduced in the northern part of its growing range, especially when spring is late and the summer is cool. It can be difficult to transplant due to a deep taproot, so choose your planting location wisely with its large mature size in mind. You can grow it from seed, but it will take the better part of a decade before the tree produces a significant crop. Pecans tolerate being planted near black walnut trees. This tree requires a medium amount of maintenance. 

Due to its size, this is a tree most appropriate for a large property. It makes a good shade tree in a naturalized, woodland, or recreational area and as part of a children’s, edible, or pollinator garden.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Leaves are alternate, pinnately compound
  • Leaflets are falcate, crenate

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Aphids, pecan weevils, stink bugs, twig girdlers, and fall webworms can cause some issues. Powdery mildew, peach leaf curl, fire blight, brown rot, bacterial spot, and cedar apple rust. Scab can infect both nuts and foliage, but 'Elliott' is a scab-resistant cultivar. Pecans are known for their brittle branches prone to breakage, especially in wind, and late frosts can reduce nut production.  

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Edibles, Bulbs, and Houseplants" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.   

More information on Carya illinoinensis.

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Tags:
#shade tree#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#moths#edible nuts#showy fruits#nuts#small mammals#cpp#buffer#children's garden#playground plant#edible fruits#screening#edible garden#wind pollinated#naturalized area#larval host plant#deciduous tree#clay soils tolerant#bird friendly#moth larvae#recreational areas#wind damage prone#hickory horndevil moth#wildlife food source#woodland
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#shade tree#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#moths#edible nuts#showy fruits#nuts#small mammals#cpp#buffer#children's garden#playground plant#edible fruits#screening#edible garden#wind pollinated#naturalized area#larval host plant#deciduous tree#clay soils tolerant#bird friendly#moth larvae#recreational areas#wind damage prone#hickory horndevil moth#wildlife food source#woodland
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Carya
    Species:
    illinoinensis
    Family:
    Juglandaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Wildlife Value:
    Fruits feed small mammals and some birds. Larval host plant to the Luna moth. This plant supports Hickory Horndevil (Citheronia regalis) larvae which have one brood and appear from May to mid-September. Adult Hickory Horndevil moths do not feed.
    Edibility:
    Nuts are edible fresh or cooked. Harvest when husk opens and releases nut. Before storing, dry pecans in paper or burlap bags hung in an area with good air movement. Freeze for long-term storage.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 50 ft. 0 in. - 100 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 30 ft. 0 in. - 75 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    more than 60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Nut
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Smaller nut size than other pecans but high quality. Sweet edible nuts with a husk that splits into four sections when they ripen in the fall. Husk begins green and dries to brown. The nut is oval to round, 1-3" long, tan to brown with darker streaking.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Inconspicuous smaller than 1" appear early summer. Type II plant, needs Type I to pollinate.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Compound alternate leaves with 7-9 lanceolate leaflets that have serrate margins. Yellow fall color.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Recreational Play Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Nighttime Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Shade Tree
    Attracts:
    Moths
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Problems:
    Messy