Pecan Tree Facts

January 12, 2017

The United States produces 80% of the world’s pecans.

Because of this, it’s widely considered one of the most valuable nuts in North America since it grows here naturally and worldwide demand has been growing in recent years.

Some interesting facts about pecans:

  • It takes 12 years for a pecan tree to mature. When grown in ideal conditions, it can live and stay productive for over 200 years.
  • Pecan wood is often utilized for the manufacturing of furniture, paneling and flooring.
  • The city of Albany, Georgia boasts of having more than 600,000 pecan trees, earning it the title of “Pecan Capital of the U.S.”
  • Pecans are related to walnuts but are much sweeter in flavor. Because of their oily composition though, pecans can become rancid very quickly in warm temperatures and high humidity. Shelled pecans are best kept inside a glass container in the refrigerator to maintain freshness.
  • The fats found in pecans are classified as monounsaturated and are recommended for the maintenance of a healthy heart. The nuts are also rich in Vitamin E and the mineral zinc. Pecans actually provide nearly 10 percent of the recommended Daily Value for zinc and one ounce of pecans provides 10% of the recommended daily fiber intake.
  • Pecans are so popular in Texas that the pecan tree was declared its state tree in 1919. Butter pecan, a popular ice cream flavor, is a Texas invention.
  • Pecan trees usually range in height from 70 to 100 feet, but some trees grow as tall as 150 feet or higher. Native pecan trees – those over 150 years old – have trunks more than three feet in diameter.
  • Before a shelled pecan is ready to be sold, it must first be cleaned, sized, sterilized, cracked and finally, shelled.
  • The name “pecan” is a Native American word that was used to describe nuts requiring a stone to crack.
  • About 78 pecans are used in the average pecan pie.

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