The history of the Texas pecan tree

Texas pecan pie

No holiday dinner is complete without it / Photo via @eastforbakingco

Whether you pronounce it puh-kawn or pee-can, we can all agree that pecan pie is a crucial part of any holiday dinner. In honor of National Nut Day, we’re diving into the rich history of the pecan tree and why it was adopted as the official state tree of Texas in 1919. 🌳

The idea was said to be influenced by former Governor James Hogg’s love of the pecan tree and his request to have one planted at his gravesite.

According to the Texas Historical Society, Texas is the leading producer of native pecans + the US leads in pecan production worldwide — producing 250-300 million pounds/year.

Basket of pecans

Pistachios can’t, but pecan | Photo via @wildlovefood

Here are some more fun facts we’re nuts about:

  • The name pecan is derived from the Native American word “pacane”meaning the nut had to be cracked by a stone.
  • Pecans aren’t technically nuts. They are considered a drupe — a fruit with a stone pit surrounded by a husk.
  • Pecan is the only tree nut native to the United States.
  • Mature pecan trees are usually 70-100 ft. tall + live to be over 150 years old.
  • Pecan wood is highly prized for its beautiful wood grain and used for flooring + furniture.

Texas pecan farms cover about 70,000 acres across the state + we’ve rounded up some spots where you can restock locally:

🌳 Vending Nut Company, 2222 Montgomery St.

🌳 Great Nuts, 2109 E. Division St., Arlington (20 min. drive)

🌳 Leonard Farm Pecans, 9516 E. Hwy 377, Cresson (30 min. drive)

🌳 Hines Nut Factory, 990 South St. Paul St., Dallas (40 min. drive)

🌳 West Pecan Farm, 2355 W. FM 544, Wylie (1-hour drive)

Believe it or nut, now’s the best time to get fresh pecans. Harvest season is underway + runs through November.

More from FTWtoday