«Previous    Next»
Hickory/Pecan Hybrid Can Grow In Colder Climates
Tanner Radig is raising and selling “hicans”, a hickory/pecan hybrid. The novel tree combines the larger nut and crackability features of the pecan with the sweeter, better-tasting, but smaller hickory. Also, like the hickory, the hican can thrive throughout Zone 4.
“I have customers growing them throughout the Midwest and New England, from Wisconsin to Vermont,” says Radig.
Hicans are the result of hickory and pecan trees naturally cross-pollinating. Given the right start, the hican can begin producing as soon as 5 years after planting. Radig recommends giving them compost, water, and protection from deer from the start for the earliest production.
“Most are producing between 5 and 15 years after planting and are fully productive in 25 years,” he says.
Radig has been working with hicans for the past 9 years and selling them for the past 6 years. While he’s relatively young, he gives credit to older mentors.
“Older growers I worked with passed on their knowledge and let me start with trees they had worked on,” says Radig. “Our hicans are from seed we collected from select grafted parent hicans in northwest Illinois.”
The goal of growers like Radig is to select genetics for a reliable producer. Even with the help he’s had, Radig acknowledges the hican has a long way to go. The size of the nut and productivity of the tree varies from tree to tree, much as it does with walnuts and other native trees.
“The nutmeats can be large from one tree and small from the next, even if the seed for both came from the same tree,” says Radig. “We plant from good parents, but there’s still a lot of genetic spread. It comes down to selection and genetics. We try to select seed with the largest nut meats and easiest processing.”
Radig sells his hicans in 16-in. deep pots that naturally air prune the roots, so they are not root bound. Seedlings vary from 6 to 12 in. in size and are priced at $20 each.
“When they get in the ground, they shoot up fast with their long tap roots,” says Radig. “They tolerate a wide range of soil types. I’ve seen them grow well in heavy clay, even wet soils. They can even do well in sand. The important thing is a few feet of soil before they hit bedrock. They need a deep tap root.”
Radig also offers a wide range of other nut and fruit trees and shrubs, as well as perennial herbs, flowers, vegetables, vines, and more.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Perennial Crops Nursery & Services, 16540 Waller Rd., Fulton, Ill. 61252 (ph 563-676-1736; perennialcropsnursery@protonmail.com; perennialcropsnursery.wordpress.com).

  Click here to download page story appeared in.

  Click here to read entire issue

To read the rest of this story, download this issue below or click here to register with your account number.
Order the Issue Containing This Story
2022 - Volume #46, Issue #5