The commercial pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] nursery industry relies on open-pollinated seed for rootstock production. Current choice of seedstocks by commercial pecan nurserymen was surveyed by telephone. Nurseries were called if they appeared in the directory used for the 1994 release of `Navaho'. Factors influencing the choice of seedstock include seed availability, nut fill, nut size, nut shape, seedling vigor, stand uniformity, and root characteristics. Local availability is important in the choice of seedstock. Those who harvest from their own trees usually credit the seedstock with other valuable characteristics, such as improved germination or vigor. Those who purchase seed usually target a preferred seedstocks for particular reasons but plant available seed in its absence. Well-filled nuts are recognized as being important for good germination. Small nuts are often preferred, especially when seed is purchased because more nuts per pound increases potential production. Round nuts are generally preferred over long nuts due to improved performance in some mechanical planters. Distinct regional preferences are apparent in the choice of seedstocks. Regionally preferred seedstock selections are generally validated by a survey of the research literature. Patterns of selection are consistent with climatic and geographic constraints. Tree procurement patterns have changed: many small nurseries have gone out of business, many large nurseries transport trees far from the nursery for sales, and quarantine restrictions have altered procurement patterns in Arizona. Recommendations are made to nurserymen, pecan growers, and researchers concerning continued progress toward improving regionally adapted pecan rootstocks through seedstock selection.
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