How Long do you need to let Pecan trees age before milling?

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Forum topic by texasdoby posted 01-11-2010 06:36 AM 2260 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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01-11-2010 06:36 AM

My family is starting to thin out about 100 large pecan trees from our ranch to allow better yield on the harvest.
We are mostly taking out the hog pecans, but some are natives as well. We are located in Bryan/College Station TX. I have heard that you need to allow the trunks to start growing a fungus on the ends to achive the dark grain lines to form in the wood, but I have no idea how long that will take.

Also, where would be a good market for pecan wood? I’ve been toying around with making crown molding and paneling out of it. I’d like to keep some of it for myself for furniture, but I need to make a profit off of it first.

-- If you're not there 15 min early...... YOU'RE LATE!!!!

8 replies so far

View Gene Howe's profile (online now)

Gene Howe

10549 posts in 3458 days

#1 posted 01-11-2010 03:03 PM

It sounds like you are talking about “spalting”, where fungus creates dark lines in the wood. That could take years…or months. Depends on the conditions…moisture, warmth, amount of sunlight, presences of spores and many more.

Spalting can occur after wood has been milled, as well. Kiln drying will more than likely arrest any spalting as all the mold spores will be killed.

You can mill it any time. If you air dry it, sticker it well.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Ger21's profile


1075 posts in 3160 days

#2 posted 01-11-2010 04:02 PM

If you’re waiting for spalting, the wood needs to be damp. There was a FWW article a few months back about how to induce it.

But you have to be careful, as rotting can occur soon after spalting, leaving you with a lot of soft, useless wood. It’ll look good, but you won’t be able to use it.

-- Gerry,

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Daren Nelson

767 posts in 3935 days

#3 posted 01-11-2010 04:25 PM

I personally would mill 50 of them right now/as soon as they are felled. Then if you want to experiment with spalting you have the other 50 to start milling next year (?, like was stated spalt cannot be timed, just watched) If you truly want spalt get the logs up off the ground in a shady spot. Not all logs will spalt at the same rate so even on the ones you have in the spalt pile you kinda have to know what you are looking for. Spalted pecan is cool…but so is non-spalted. Rotten mushy pecan is just not cool at all. Good luck.

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124 posts in 3379 days

#4 posted 01-11-2010 08:18 PM is a good resource for finding local mills and kilns. M&G sawmill in Huntsville, TX looks like a good bet.

Craigslist is not a bad option for finding a buyer either.

-- "We are what we repeatedly do; excellence then is not an act but a habit." ---Aristotle

View tbone's profile


276 posts in 3714 days

#5 posted 01-11-2010 09:45 PM

After taking an architectural home tour of Austin last summer, I can tell you that pecan seems to be the wood of choice at a few custom cabinet shops down there. It made for beautiful kitchen cabinets—but pricey.
You might check with these guys;

-- Kinky Friedman: "The first thing I'll do if I'm elected is demand a recount."

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5726 posts in 3261 days

#6 posted 01-11-2010 09:59 PM

Yeah, coming from College Station, M&G is a great bet, and not too terribly far from you relatively speaking!

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View texasdoby's profile


5 posts in 3087 days

#7 posted 01-12-2010 06:54 PM

Thanks for all the great input. I am surprised at the speed of the replies. I am really starting to love this site.

I will look up the mill, but we are looking in to buying our own mill as well. I may have to sell some of the logs inn order to do this.

-- If you're not there 15 min early...... YOU'RE LATE!!!!

View rtb's profile


1101 posts in 3742 days

#8 posted 01-12-2010 07:59 PM

If I were dealing with this problem I would mill it and have it kiln dried and its now ready for sale. spalting is nice but pecan is such a beautiful wood that its quite desirable the way it is. The other alternatives all involve the addition of significant amounts of time (as measured in years.). Of course I wouldn’t sell it all I would certainly set aside a lot of it for my own use.

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

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