Monday, February 23, 2015
We actually get a lot of wild Pecan trees around here especially as one gets down closer to the rivers but the two I had picked out happen to have grown up closer to a field edge. Actually they were about 20 yards down over a slight hill but I have other motives for wanting to get into that particular spot anyway and these old Pecan trees gave me the excuse I needed to clear an area to back into.
Pecans are sometimes hard to notice in the Missouri woods as the squirrels keep the nuts pretty picked before the leaves fall and people can see the trees for what they are. The leaves also look a lot like Walnut during the Summer months, also I am pretty sure many of our wild Pecans do not actually bear nuts, I think it has something to do with having a non-related tree near enough for cross pollination. During the dry periods the Pecan trees that produce will throw out huge amounts of nuts and they tend to break a number of their limbs off from the weight too. That's what happened to the two trees I was cutting today during the drought of 2012 they lost most of their main limbs and never recovered. Pecans around here also seem to have issues with becoming hollow before they get really large. Not sure if that is a regional problem or not.
Another interesting thing that very rarely happens with Pecan trees is when you cut one down and find it is hollow and completely stuffed with nuts. I have seen this happen a time or two over the years where some critter has made a stash in the hollow trunk and never got around to eating it.
The wood burns well however after it has dried for a year or more. It also seems to lose a lot more weight when dried than other trees I cut normally such as Oak and even it's cousin Hickory. I think technically a Pecan is rated as a hardwood but honestly after allowed to dry a while the wood becomes so light it almost feels like a softer wood.
I have heard that some people will cut and sell Pecan wood for use in smokers but I have never looked into anything like that although it is suppose to be an excellent choice for smoking meats. Other than that I know of no other use the wood was ever put to.
In grid down situation having a bead on a couple of good producing Pecan trees would be invaluable. The nut meat is suppose to be so high in nutritional value that fort he effort harvesting and preparing the nuts pays off better than hunting or even most agriculture endeavors. Pecan nuts are also wonderful tasting too.
Sadly the two trees I cut today died after they lost their limbs. There are also four nice straight Red Cedars that appear to have very thin sapwood that should be perfect for fence post use and a couple of other standing dead trees in there I want to get. First though I needed to get these two Pecans out and a couple of small sized live trees that will need to be removed as well and added to next years supply. For today though I just cut and loaded the Pecans. I will try and wait a few more weeks before cutting the live trees.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!