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Lamar Alexander Parkway (US 321) Townsend, TN 37882

Pecan

Scientific Name: Carya illinoinensis

Trail Location: 6

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Pecan - Townsend River Walk & Arboretum - Late Spring 2019
Plant Type:
Deciduous

Family:
Juglandaceae (Walnut)

USDA Hardiness Zones:
5, 6, 7, 8, 9

USDA Plant Id:
cail2

Height:
75 - 100
ft.
Spread:
40 - 50
ft.

Flower:
Minimal


Fall Leaf Color:
Yellow but does not give off much fall color.

Host Plant for the Following Butterflies
Gray Hairstreak Butterfly

Wildlife Value
The pecan nuts are high in oils and sweet tasting and are eaten by all sorts of animals like: raccoons, squirrels, deer, bear, and many others.

We were so fortunate to have this beautiful fruit bearing Pecan Tree.  No one is sure how it got here or when, since it is not native, but this location was bare rocks back in the early 1940's when they built the 2 lane TN-73 where the 2 lanes of the Lamar Alexander Parkway heads to the Smokies.  Pecans are not common to East Tennessee but are more common to West Tennessee in the Mississippi Valley. The Pecan is a native nut of the United States unlike almonds and many other nuts. The pecan has a long history in what is now the United States with the Indians using them for food and trade and Thomas Jefferson, one of the earliest pecan growers in the United States provided George Washington several pecan tress.  Since that time pecans have become an important commercial product and in 1919 Texas designated the Pecan tree as it's state tree.   The trees can reach heights over 100 ft and can live well over 300 years.  The trees Thomas Jefferson gave George Washington are still alive at Mount Vernon.

Check out he video below for a brief history of the Pecan and how it is grown, harvested and marketed.