The Texas State Tree: Pecan

The mature pecan tree is usually 70 to 100 feet tall, as shown above, but can grow as tall as 150 feet and higher. The native pecan trees shown are estimated to be over 150 years old. Their trunks are more than three feet in diameter.

Texas is the largest producer of native pecans, and is second only to Georgia in the production of hybrid (orchard grown) varieties. The pecan became the Texas state tree by act of the Texas Legislature in 1919. Governor James Hogg favored the tree so much that he requested that one be planted at his gravesite.

The meats of the pecan are prized in Texas cuisine as well. Pecan pie made with pecans and corn syrup is a customary holiday dessert and is as much a tradition as a Christmas Tree in the living room. Many also make a habit of shelling the nuts and eating them out of hand.