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Forkert Pecan Carya illinoinensis 'Forkert'

Phonetic Spelling
KAIR-yuh il-ih-noy-NEN-sis
Description

'Forkert' is a cultivar of the Carya illinoinensis pecan tree that is recommended in the southeast United States. This cultivar is noted for the consistent quality of its nuts, which are large, with a thin shell that is easy to crack making it a popular nut in the "in-shell" market.

'Forkert' is a hardy pecan that grows best in full sun to partial shade. It tolerates clay, sand, and loam soils—alkaline or acidic—as long as they are well drained. It has high drought tolerance. Learn more about selection, planting, and care of pecan trees.

'Forkert' 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 and 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: meaning 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. 'Forkert' is a Type II pecan. For optimum pollination, NC State Extension recommends planting at least three cultivars with at least one of each pollination type for best cross-pollination.

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. It has a poor resistance to scab which can infect both nuts and foliage, but scab-resistant cultivars are available. 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:
#deciduous#large tree#edible nuts#small mammals#cpp#nighttime garden#children's garden#pollinator plant#edible tree#naturalized area#larval host plant#deciduous tree#bird friendly#moth larvae#wind damage prone#hickory horndevil moth#woodland
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#large tree#edible nuts#small mammals#cpp#nighttime garden#children's garden#pollinator plant#edible tree#naturalized area#larval host plant#deciduous tree#bird friendly#moth larvae#wind damage prone#hickory horndevil moth#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.
    Play Value:
    Buffer
    Edible fruit
    Screening
    Shade
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wind Break
    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: 70 ft. 0 in. - 100 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 40 ft. 0 in. - 75 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Oval
    Rounded
    Spreading
    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)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    more than 60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Nut
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    It bears long nut with a thin husk in a cluster of 4. The percentage of kernel is high. 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:
    Cream/Tan
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Catkin
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Insignificant, monoecious, appear April-May. Male flowers are 4"-long yellow-green catkins, female flowers are shorter spikes.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    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:
    The green leaves are alternate and pinnate with 9-17 leaflets. Yellow fall color. Leaflets are lanceolate with serrate margins. Midrib of leaf and leaflets may be slightly curved. Fewer and longer leaflets than black walnut.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Furrowed
    Bark Plate Shape:
    Rectangle
    Bark Description:
    Grey-brown bark and rectangular furrows.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Bud Scales:
    No scales, covered in hair
    Stem Leaf Scar Shape:
    Encircles a bud
    Stem Lenticels:
    Conspicuous
    Stem Description:
    Grey-brown stems, raised lenticels, and pubescent buds in a U-shaped, usually shallow, leaf scar.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Nighttime Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Shade Tree
    Attracts:
    Moths
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Problems:
    Messy