Jeanette Castanon is a horticulturist with Texas AgriLife Extension Service. She can be reached at 686-4700 or by email at [email protected]
By Jeanette Castanon
In most cases, pecan trees drop their nuts in the fall when they are fully ripe and ready to be harvested. The husk will start to split and the nutshell beneath the husk will turn brown. When fallen pecans are green, this means something has interfered with the ripening process. As we experienced in the past few weeks the high winds knocked down lots of pecans!
So what should you do now? It is important to pick up all of the green fallen pecans, this will help prevent any disease or pests from gathering on the ground. Since some of the green pecans fell early they did not have enough time to ripen on the tree, so they may taste bitter and have a sticky, soft texture when broken open.
When fallen pecans are green, this means something has interfered with the ripening process. (Courtesy Photo)
You can attempt to peel and cure these pecans, if the husk is too difficult to peel then they are far too early and cannot be processed. If you can manage to peel off the husk, using gloves since green pecans can dye your skin a dark brown. Press a blade into the outer husk until you reach the hard inner shell. Score it by spinning the pecan as you hold the blade in place. Make two circles in perpendicular intersections around the green shell. Pull each divided section with the tip of your knife until you’ve removed the green husk from the hard inner shell. Scrape off any leftover green spots. Let them sit in a warm, well-ventilated area so the pecans can dry out. In about a week, they will turn brown and be ready to eat. They won’t taste as good as a pecan that matured while still on the tree, but you may be able to get some use out of them.
For more information, call the AgriLife office at 498-4071 in Odessa or at 686-4700 in Midland, email [email protected] or visit aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu or westtexasgardening.org.
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