Frank J. Willmann, Propagating Specialist, Texas State Dept. of Agriculture Austin, Texas
This section is Mason County. I will first tell where Mason County is, and what streams and creeks in same'are nut-producing streams. We are in the heart of the pecan Belt of Texas, with Kimble and Menard counties on the west, Mcculloch and San Saba County on the north and northeast, Llano County on the east, Gillespie County to the south. The Llano River with its banks lined with beautiful pecan trees running through the county from east to west. Nut-producing tributaries of the Llano River in Mason County-are the following Leon Creek, Bluff. Creek, James-River, Shep Creek, Rocky Creek, Comanche Creek, Willow Creek, Twelve Mile Creek, and Beaver Creek. Tributary to the San Saba River is Katemcy Creek, which is in the northern part of the county.
Mason County has over two thousand bearing top-worked pecan trees which are the size of from two inches to three and one-half feet · in diameter. The majority of these trees are over one foot in diameter. Practically all of these trees were topped back in the winter and then budded the following summer on current year's growth with current year's buds. The following are bearing top-worked varieties in Mason County Burkett, Texas Prolific, Halbert, Kincaid, San Saba, · Alexander, Zesch, Schley, Delmas. Pabst, Big Z, Moore, Russell, Stuart, Oliver and Mobile.
Pecan Varieties Tried in Texas
The Burkett is from Callahan County, Texas, is large in size, thin shell,kernal plump, flavor excellent. The Burkett bears very early ; very frequently you get good crops from two-year-old tops. It is easily propagated and is a strong healthy grower. I consider the Burkett the best pecan in Texas.
The Texas Prolific which is from San Saba County, Texas, is large size, medium shell, kernel plump, quality rich, flavor sweet. The Texas Prolific is a very heavy and regular bearer. Top-worked trees ten years old have been bearing regular crops for eight years except one season, this being when the frost killed the crop. The Texas Prolific has small twigs and many fruit branches it has a small leaf. It is not very easily propagated, due to the tender bark and small bud. The Texas Prolific scabs in low, wet climate.
The Halbert is from Coleman County, Texas. Medium to small in size, shell thin, kernel pump quality fair, good flavor, very prolific and regular bearer and very easy to propagate. It has small, short limbs and many fruit branches. Some years the nuts. Do not keep well. It scabs badly in wet climates. The Burkett, Texas Prolific and the Halbert are my choice in West Texas.
The Kincaid is from San Saba County, Texas. Size large, shell medium, kernel plump, quality good, flavor sweet. The Kincaid is a very regular bearer and has rather irregular growing limbs and many fruit branches. I fir v d that the Kincaid is not very hardy, and find many dead branches scattered in the trees. The Kincaid nut is very irregular in size and shape, this making a bad sample unless you pick them. It is very irregular in ripening and scabs badly in wet climate.
The San Saba is from San Saba County, Texas. Size small, shell thin, kernels. plump quality rich, flavor sweet. The San Saba bears well and the tree is a hardy grower, making a good shaped tree. The nuts are so small that it is not a profitable variety ţo use in top. working. It scabs in wet climate
The Alexander is from Coleman County, Texas. Size medium to large, shell very thin, flavor sweet quality rich. Th, is pecan is the most prolific pecan we have. Iţ bears as regularly and more nuts than any other variety. The tree is a hardy grower and has very small, long limbs, with many fruit limbs. It often bears on wood not larger than a match stem. The Alexander has borne several crops of fine, salable nuts, but last season it failed on us. The nuts were filled well but they had a corky sub-shell on the meat, making it impossible to get a fancy price for same.
The Zesch is a Mason County, Texas, pecan. Size medium to large, shell medium, kernel plump, quality rich, flavor sweet. It is a hardy growing tree and makes a good shaped top. Iţ bears regular crops and is the earliest variety to ripen we have. It ripens about two weeks earlier than any other variety.
The Schley is from Jackson County, Mississippi. Size medium to large, shell very thin, kernel plump, quality rich, flavor excellent. It is the best eastern variety we have. It is a regular bearer and bears on two-year tops. It is not a heavy bearer at the start, but, as the tree grows older it puts on more bearing limbs. Our ten-year-old Schley tree bears good crops. It is a hardy and healthy grower; the nuts are rather small in dry seasons.
The Delmas is from Jackson County, Mississippi. Size large, shell medium plump kernel plump quality good, flavor sweet. It is a rather shy bearer. Trees with eight-year tops have produced very few crops. It is a hardy grower and has very tong limbs which are easy to break in high winds.
The Big Z is from Mississippi. Size large, shell thin, kernel somewhat shrunken, quality fair, flavor sweet. It is a hardy upright grower and seems to be a good bearer. Trees with four-year tops have produced two crops.
The Moore is from Jefferson County, Florida. Size small, shell medium, quality good, flavor sweet. It is an early bearer ; trees with four-year tops have produced two crops. The nuts are too small in the west. Probably they will have more size in the east. The Moore is a hardy grower and seems to be a heavy bearer.
The Russell is from Jackson · County, Mississippi. Size medium to large, shell very thin, kernel somewhat shrunken, quality good, flavor sweet. It is a strong grower and a, regular bearer. Trees with nine-year tops have been bearing regular crops. The Russell is not very hardy and shows some rust in different trees. It is a very late ripener and in severe early frost the new limbs will freeze.
The Stuart is from Jackson County, Mississippi. Size large, shell medium ; cracking qualities not good, kernels plump and will break when separated from the shell ; quality good, flavor sweet. The Stuart is a failure in our section of the country ; about three-fourths of the trees in the county are rosetting ; the trees are very poor bearers.
The Oliver Pecan is from Kimble County, Texas. Size very large, thick shell, kernels fair, quality fair, flavor fair. The Oliver is a hardy grower and is a heavy, regular bearer. Nuts are large but too hard shelled to bring fancy prices.
The Mobile is from Mobile, Alabama. Size large, shell thin, kernels not filled well, quality good, flavor sweet. Most of them have one kernel full and the other about half full.