I know we’ve been ready for, and have been commenting on spring being here, right? Many have noted spring arrived with snow still on the ground.
While traveling through some of southern Georgia, U.S.A. this week, particularly along the scenic highways around Clyattville, we had the feeling that spring is truly here with warmer temperatures, ranging near 80 degrees Fahrenheit. I think that’s a welcome for those who desire to visit the southeastern U.S.
Yes, we may have warmer weather and spring has sprung but maybe there is some cooler weather still on the way.
There is an old saying that winter isn’t over until the pecan trees bud. I did a little research to found out how true; however, I didn’t locate any specifics.
I did gather information that indicates pecan trees are some of the latest to bud as they must build up “chill units.”
In my simple interpretation, chill units relate to how many cold encounters the tree has. Apparently, each tree variant has different chill units. Once that tree has a certain number of cold encounters and begins to experience warmer temperatures then the leaves and buds begin to appear.
Wow, that’s pretty cool. While other trees may have the desire to bloom when spring is nearing or has arrived, regardless if there is cold weather still to come, the pecan tree waits a little longer until it senses the threat of cold weather has passed.
There have been times however when the pecan trees were not as accurate, but it seems they are mostly accurate.
For more information on the pecan tree’s preparation for warm weather check the University of Georgia’s blog page at https://site.extension.uga.edu/pecan/2017/02/warm-winter-and-pecans/.
I believe the trees will be budding soon so go ahead and plan your travels through the southeastern U.S. and not be concerned with “cold” weather.
But what about other locations outside the U.S.A.? Do you have pecan trees or some other types of trees that signal the end of cold weather?
Other information about pecans:
History of the Pecan and Georgia Pecans (according to Pearson Farm). https://www.pearsonfarm.com/blog/history-of-the-pecan-and-georgia-pecans/
Pecans, although one of the most recently domesticated major crops has been an important part of southern U.S. diet and culture since before the arrival of European settlers. Fur traders originally brought the pecan to the U.S. Atlantic Coast from Illinois, calling them “Illinois nuts.” The term pecan was coined by the Algonquin Indians, a North American tribe located in the southwest. It originated from their word “pacane”, which means a nut that needs to be cracked with a stone.
Georgia Pecans – Although pecans are highly favored in Georgia today, Georgia farmers were somewhat hesitant in accepting the benefits of this nut at first. It wasn’t until the late 1800s that several individual Georgia landowners began producing and marketing pecans on a small scale. In Savannah, there was about ninety-seven total acres by 1889.
By the 1950s, Georgia had become the country’s leading producer of pecans and remains the largest pecan-producing state in the nation to date. Georgia pecan trees are one of the largest fruit-bearing trees with just one acre of pecan trees producing about 1,000 pounds of pecans. Today, more than 500 varieties of pecans exist with over 1,000 cultivars being released over the history of pecan culture.
The United States produces 80% of the world’s pecans (according to Tropical Foods) https://www.tropicalfoods.com/blog/pecan-tree-facts/
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.