To the Editor,
Thanks to The Robesonian for a timely article on pecans in the Nov. 19 newspaper. I’m a big fan of pecans and pick up several hundred pounds a year. After selling some and cracking some at the Lumber River Trading Company, they make great Christmas presents, not to mention holiday treats.
I would take exception, however, to a comment made in the article by the expert from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Science when he said the quality of nuts from yard trees is poor. That’s just not true.
The history of pecan trees in Robeson County is that everybody planted them around their homes for shade, nuts and to pay their taxes. There are many trees remaining in older sections of Lumberton and the downtown. One of my favorite trees is located in the parking lot of the former The Robesonian building. While surrounded by asphalt, it continues to produce abundantly, including this year.
I strongly encourage homeowners to consider planting pecan trees with one caution. Buy a tree variety that is compact and does not require pruning later in its life. Many types of pecan trees get very long and heavy limbs that will break.
The science of agriculture has produced many wonderful things, and no doubt, commercial pecan growers get higher yields through fertilization and irrigation. Fortunately for me, it does not take a lot of science to grow a pecan tree and enjoy a bountiful supply of high quality nuts.
You may sell the excess harvest for around 50 cents a pound for large nuts and a little less for small ones. Unfortunately, you probably won’t be able to pay your taxes with the proceeds.