Picking Up Your Pecans


Harvest your pecans early, picking them up from the ground as quickly as possible. Put pecans in a dry, moderately warm place indoors to dry. When pecans get a crisp texture, and can be broken in half easily, they should be refrigerated or frozen.

November is harvest time, and pecans fall constantly. If they are to maintain their quality they must be picked up quickly.

Harvest your pecans early for best quality. Don't let them lie on wet ground for extended periods of time. As soon as pecans fall from the tree they begin to dry and cure. This process improves the quality of the nuts until they reach their optimum appearance, aroma, flavor and texture. If the nuts get wet after initial drying the seed coat will darken and the oil in the kernel increases the fatty acid levels. This condition causes the nut to be stale and rancid.

Harvest nuts promptly, and take pecans to a dry location inside. This will help reduce the number of pecan weevils in the next growing season, as emerging weevils cannot return to soil.

Drying is one of the most important steps in assuring a high-quality appearance and flavor in pecans. If possible, spread pecans out in a dry, moderately warm place and dry them several days before storing. Once dried to a crisp texture, pecans should be refrigerated or frozen.

SOURCE: Dr. Bill Goff, Extension horticulturist, Alabama Cooperative Extension System (334) 844-5480.

Prepared by Kenny Smith, Communications intern