There are over 500 different varieties or types of pecans. They are named after a wide array of things, mostly Native American tribes, the discoverer or the person who grafted it. Even with more than 500 variations, the majority of pecan production comes from just a handful of varieties.
The most popular are: Stuart, Desirable, Moreland, Cape Fear and natives (wild seedling types). When it comes down to it, pecans are pecans; the main distinctions are the size of the nut and the taste (some are bitterer than others). Shell thickness also varies from variety to variety, with some having shells so thin that they can be cracked by hand. Note: native, wild seedling pecans may have thicker shells than improved varieties which are often referred to as paper shell pecans, but this is not always the case.
Some native kinds indeed produce “ideal” pecans. The paper shell varieties are often preferred over their native cousins, however, because of the ease with which they can be processed ( cracked and shelled ) or because some of the native varieties may also produce a nut of smaller size.
Pictured above are some pecan types that might typically be found in my region. Stuart types are probably the most common.
The photo above gives a size comparison.
Wild seedling pecans are pretty small in size as you can see by the comparison above.
To summarize, it may be difficult to distinguish between pecan varieties. The trees vary very little, the main noticeable difference being the size of the nut produced. We have compiled a collection of pecan pictures for your viewing pleasure. We also have several pecan tree pictures available for you to examine. These pictures may help you identify pecan types, especially if you are wondering if that tree in your backyard is indeed a pecan tree.
You've learned a little about a few of the many pecan varieties. You probably have a pecan tree in your yard that has pecans falling (if it is in the fall season) and need a method to get those nuts picked up, quickly and without straining your back. We recommend the Pecan Broom for this task. It will cut way down on your time spent picking up pecans, and maybe even make it a fun task. Click on the "PECAN BROOM" logo below to check it out.