Harvesting Pecans

We have started harvesting the pecans that have fallen from the tree onto the ground this past week.  The normal harvesting time is between mid October thru November. The longer we can wait to harvest the better, but unfortunately we are competing with the squirrels for the mature nuts.  They’ve already started chewing up these nuts & spitting the green outer shells onto the ground.  So we’ve gathered what has fallen from the tree due to wind or rain.  Then we lay them out on some extra window screens we had laying around.  This way they can dry out since the outer shell contains quite a bit of moisture.   Here is some information I found online from TEXASA&MSYSTEM. 

Pecans are mature and ready to harvest anytime after the shuck begins to open. It is easier to wait and harvest nuts by shaking or thrashing branches after shucks are wide open and partially dried. However, the longer you wait, the more pecans that may be lost to predators. Squirrels, crows, bluejays, wild turkeys, raccoons and deer all can cause serious yield reduction. Nuts harvested early in the season have a high moisture content and need to be dried before storage. Dry them in the shell in thin layers on elevated screens or hang them in small mesh bags in a well-ventilated area at room temperature out of direct sunlight. Within 2 weeks the nut meats should be dry enough to snap when bent, an indication they are ready for storage or immediate use. To retain nut meat quality, store pecans in the freezer. Pecans retain good quality for up to 6 months in the refrigerator, but the freezer ensures much better quality when storing shelled pecans. Pecans readily absorb odors from almost any material, including other fruits and vegetables, so be careful to protect them from possible contaminating odors.


18 responses to this post.

  1. That is a harvest!!! I love pecans and you are so lucky to have a tree. Are there a few pecan pies in the future?

    Thanks Tina. I do too and I am grateful to have gotten some of the nuts in the past couple of years. I’m not much of a cook, we’ll see. Last year we just enjoyed snacking of them. 🙂


  2. We do not grow Pecans here but we do get them in December for Christmas. To freeze them that’s a new one, good thing. Nice to have them all year around and with goog quality./LOL Tyra

    They are quite expensive compared to other nuts Tyra. My grandmother use to pick them at a farm & freeze them every year for recipes. Thanks for visiting today. 🙂


  3. I smell pecan pies!!

    Which is one of favorites! I’ve never made if before, gardening is my thing, not cooking. 🙂


  4. I would love a pecan tree! That’s a great harvest. Be quick and beat those squirrels to it.

    It is nice to have something that produces something edible growing in the yard. Thanks, I will have to outsmart the little devils!


  5. Oh yum pecans. Nothing is better at Thanksgiving dinner than pecan pie. I would probably be out protecting my tree from squirrels with my dog. Of course that only works if the tree’s branches don’t get too close to another tree.

    They are a vital part of Thanksgiving dinner. I love Pecan Pie! Spaz does her best, but the little pests are too quick for her.


  6. Lucky you! Pecans are so wonderful. Pecan pie is my favorite! Cameron

    Thanks Cameron. I love Pecan pie too and pecans are my favorite nuts.


  7. Wow ! .. PGL .. this is quite a sight !
    I have never seen nuts harvested and what else comes after that ? .. roasting ? seasoning ? .. pecan pie and in mixed nuts comes to mind but I’m sure there must be so many more uses and recipes ? pickled pecans ? LOL
    Glad you got some before the squirrels had their way with them ? haha

    Thanks Joy, lol. You can let them dry & freeze some for baking. We like to snack on them. They are papershells so they are quite easy to crack. Last year we got a small load too. The squirrels are quite greedy…lol


  8. Racquel, this post reminded me of when I was a kid we use to go to pecan orchards and pick up pecans. I remember it was always cold and chilly. Of course, you paid per pound. Being a kid, that probably wasn’t too much.

    We use to do the same thing when I was a kid growing up in Texas. My grandparents best friends owned a Pecan Orchard & we use to go pick them in the fall.


  9. Racquel, Can you imagine the work a big Pecan Farm has to do to keep out the critters! They are forever throwing the hickory nuts on the unsuspecting gardener below! What will you do with the pecans you harvested? We like to toast them. Then we use them on salads and as a snack. They are delicious!


    I’ve seen it close up growing up. As I was telling Susie, my grandparents were friends with a couple that owned a Pecan Orchard. I don’t know how they kept the squirrels from stealing them all. We like to snack on them. I’ve never toasted them.


  10. Lucky you! The price of pecans keeps going up. I usually buy a couple big bags for baking.

    We have black walnuts here, I have several trees. They are good but sooooooo much trouble to clean and crack.

    They are quite expensive to purchase Marnie. I do feel blessed to have them. I like walnuts too, but they are a pain to crack.


  11. That’s quite a bit of work there. Pecan sounds wonderful, that too from your own tree! I didn’t realise there could be that many predators after the prized nut! I hope the squirrels don’t get too many of them!

    Thanks Kanak, not too much work really, just gathering them & drying them out. They are papershells.


  12. I don’t have “nut trees” but reading your posts makes me wish I did! Enjoy your harvest!

    Thanks Shirley. I do feel lucky to have a Pecan tree in my own garden. 🙂


  13. I bet you do have a lot of competition for those yummy pecans! You’re so lucky to have a tree right in your yard. When I was a child one of our fall chores was collecting the walnuts from our black walnut trees. Like Marnie said, it could be quite a bit of trouble to just get to the nut. Pecans look easier in that respect. Enjoy the harvest!

    Thanks Kathleen, I do feel blessed to have a tree in my own yard. They are easier than Walnuts. My husband said growing up they had Black Walnut Trees & they were a pain.


  14. I love pecans and am most impressed with your harvest, Racquel!

    Thanks Joey. I love them too & I’m happy to get some of the harvest this year. 😉


  15. I could save you all the trouble and just send you the squirrels I have in the yard. They would be more then happy to harvest your pecans for you. I will pack their little suitcases and send them on their way.

    Thanks but no thanks Cindee, lol. I have enough in my own yard. 😉


  16. WOW, it looks like you had a good harvest this year. I know last year, my grandma who is NC, did not have a good crop. I mean she didn’t get any. It was a very sad year, No Pecan Pie 😦

    Thanks Zach. We got a small harvest last year, but in years past it has been hard fighting the squirrels for them. 🙂 I hope your grandma gets a good crop this year too. Pecan Pie is my fave!


  17. I didn’t get any bulbs this year. I’ll probably regret that. Maybe I should rethink since it’s not too late to do so.

    Love the way your site looks and the header is beautiful. I can not believe how much your garden grows each time I visit your blog. I can’t wait to see it a year from now. Your hard work will reward you.

    It’s not too late to get some bulbs. I’ve planted bulbs as late as the end of November here. Thanks, I’m glad you like my blog theme & the header. That is a glimpse of the new bed & it really did well this year. 🙂


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