This is from 1924 from the Texas Pecan Grower Association annual meeting. While it is good for reference to see where we were as an industry, not all information is current.
BEHAVIOR OF PECAN VARIETIES IN THE TYLER SECTION
------- E.C. Butterfield, Winona, Texas
This subject seems to call for cold facts regardless of expectations. I would much prefer to discuss this subject out in the pecan grove where certain conditions might explain why this variety of pecans was doing so splendidly and that variety doing so poorly, some acting differently on different soils and under different cultural methods. But, to put it down in the cold type and then spell it out in a different locality where interested pecans growers from many localities are eager for information pertaining to the best varieties to plant is a different proposition. Then again, my information might be called snap judgment, for my observations have not covered more than fifteen or twenty years.
The subject of pecan varieties will be discussed at length for many years yet to come, and I might say more especially so in Texas, for two reasons: first, because the so-called varieties have not been tried out expensively; and second because you still have many very fine varieties yet practically unknown along you many rivers and among your millions of seedlings well worth propagating-some that will do doubt in time come in for honorable mention among our best known today.
Many new varieties will be introduced and many disappointments will follow before the best are weeded out. Because someone discovers a pecan tree that is doing well in some favored location does not mean that variety will succeed and stand the test of time over a very large territory. It takes time to try out these new varieties and it should be up to the Government working with the state to maintain experimental groves for testing the performance of all varieties whether new or old. Such information will be invaluable to the future of the pecan industry as a whole.
It is human nature for us to have our pets; we all have them. I have mine and I find myself beating around the bush about some fault that my pet pecan tree has when it does not come across with a crop of pecan. It is the same with stockmen and it will always be thus, but after a while we awaken to our shortsightedness and follow the crowd that is making the money regardless of our personal likes and dislikes.
After all is said and done, varieties discussed pro and con, the variety that winds up the season with the best cash balance will sooner or later take the lead.
Evaluation of Pecan Varieties
First I will mention the Schley. In our section this variety has behaved very well; fairly prolific, thin shells, fills well and is of excellent quality. I like the Schley; our customers like it; in fact, everybody likes it it-even the crows and jaybirds like it better than any other variety we have. Seems free from disease and I have reason to believe it will continue its good behavior.
Next I will mention the Stuart, the standby over many sections. This variety has behaved satisfactorily in our section; fairly regular bearer; comes out late in the spring; ripens early in the fall; in fact a short season variety. This feature might be the means of a crop when other sorts might be injured by a late freeze in the spring or an early frost in the fall. I have seen this happen at both ends of the season when other varieties were more or less injured while the Stuart suffered no damage, free from disease.
Moore has behaved exceedingly well with us in East Texas, Medium in size, fills well, and a good cracker. The most attractive feature of this variety is that it bears regularly and if given a chance will produce tonnage which is an important factor in growing pecans, whether commercially or otherwise. Another feature is that it ripens early and that you can gather it early; hence get it to the market early. Free from disease and gaining in popularity over a large territory.
Along with the Moore I might mention the Waukena, which is also a heavy bearer, medium in size, fills well and good quality, but blooms early and suffered from a late freeze with us last season; but this year they have a double load. Free from disease. Frotscher. In so far as this variety has behaved with us in East Texas I might have left it off, but we have quite a number of trees and I still have hopes of seeing a good crop of nuts on our trees. Fills fairly well under favorable conditions; thin shell and good size and shows up well alongside of other nuts.
Van Deman has not behaved very well with us, but I have seen excellent crops of nuts on trees in favored locations. We are hoping that this variety will yet give a good account of itself, but so far it certainly has been tardy. Success is growing in favor with us, has shown signs of being a heavy producer. Nuts rather round, fills very well, cracks easily, tree not very vigorous but responds to extra care and is very promising Free from disease. Delmas. It now appears that this variety may develop disease in East Texas to some extent under certain weather conditions, I am sorry to say. Nut large, fills well, and fairly regular producer. It seems to be at its best a hundred miles west of us. Moneymaker. This variety seems to be holding its own in our section. Produces heavy crops with regularity. Nut round, only fair quality, fills well, free from disease.
I have said that it depends on the size of tree as to how many nuts you will get. Nut above medium in size, fills well but a little off in quality, but it will produce pounds nevertheless. It is still a question with us as to whether this off-quality outweighs the tonnage production. Free from disease. It will be noticed that I have so far mentioned only eastern varieties; that is, varieties that originated in the eastern states along the coastal plains section.As.to varieties that come from Texas my observations have not been very extensive.
San Saba with us seems to be susceptible to disease under certain weather conditions. Nut rather small, very prolific, fills almost too well, thin shell and of good quality. I have seen it doing splendidly a little farther west of us. Halbert also seems partially susceptible to disease with us. Medium in size, very prolific; bears regularly, thin shell, plump meat and of good quality. Oliver is also a heavy producer with us. Nut large, round, rather thick shell, fills fairly well.
An excellent nut, very vigorous grower, heavy producer, good cracker; fills well and of good quality. Very promising in East Texas so far.
In conclusion, Behavior of Varieties in My Section does not vary much with reports farther east along the same latitude. However, the question of varieties susceptible to pecan scab will have to be taken into consideration. Just now we think we are near the western limits of serious scab infestation.
While this subject does not call for recommendations, still I wish to leave this thought with those about to venture into pecan-growing for profit. First, select varieties with known records in your locality if possible, for quality, regularity and heavy production.
The old saying that there is safety in numbers will help you fight the case-bearer, one of the worst insect enemies of the industry.