Grow a Pecan Tree from a Seed

You should only plant a pecan tree from a seed if you love a challenge. Squirrels, storms and mother nature have centuries of practice growing pecans successfully from seed, but you might need to a little help to do as well!

Germinating the Seeds

Pecan seeds, or nuts, need months of cold weather to germinate. You can either plant your seed in the fall and let it germinate naturally over the winter, or germinate it inside. If you select the natural option, make sure to protect the young shoots from spring squirrels who seek out the tender plants. Germinating the seeds inside, a process called "stratification," involves storing the young seed in your refrigerator for 8-to-20 weeks in a bag filled with moist sawdust, peat-moss or sand.

Planting the Seeds

Prepare your soil bed ahead of time. A sandy, loamy soil works best. Once the seed splits, plant it immediately. The young pecan root will emerge from the split nut and grow about 1/2-inch per day. The root will extended down into the soil for a foot or more before the shoot emerges from the 3 inches of soil above the nut. This entire process may take 4 to 8 weeks, so be patient. Tend the seedling as you would any tree until it's large enough to plant in the ground outside.