Pecan Trees in Arizona: Which Ones Do Well Here + Care

Elevate your favorite recipes and your lawn by planting pecan trees. These massive trees provide beautiful outdoor scenery and nuts you can candy, boil, or bake into pies. In the right conditions, pecan trees grow everywhere in the United States, even in desert states like Arizona.

Do Pecan Trees Grow Well in Arizona?

In the United States, pecan trees are native to the Midwest and Southeast, but that does not mean you cannot grow them elsewhere. With proper care, pecan trees thrive in hotter desert zones like Arizona, lasting for years.

Planting Pecan Tree in AZ

Pecan trees provide incredible benefits to Arizona gardeners, from delicious food to cool and shaded areas.

What Types of Pecan Trees Grow Well in Arizona?

You can grow a healthy pecan tree in Arizona with some patience and the correct species variety. Since pecan trees traditionally grow in cooler regions, some types withstand desert climates better than others. No matter what you choose to plant, these trees love water, so expect to use a lot of it if you’re in Arizona.

Three of the most popular pecan tree varieties in Arizona are the Western Schley, the Burkett, and the Cheyenne.

Western Schley

The Western Schley pecan tree is well-loved because it is self-fertilizing, meaning it uses its own pollen to produce nuts and fruit. It is one of the most common pecan tree varieties in the Southwestern region of the United States because it withstands harsh desert temperatures.

With proper care, the Western Schley can produce fruit earlier than other varieties.


Burkett pecan trees are another excellent choice for Arizona gardeners because it handles arid conditions well. This tree produces large shelled pecans packed with a flavorful taste.

If you consider this tree, do not plant it close to any buildings or pathways. It has a large and invasive root system.


The Cheyenne tree produces medium-sized pecans with a soft shell. The fruit ripens for picking relatively early, from mid-September onward. The Cheyenne tree is self-fertile but has a greater harvest when paired with other pecan varieties.

The Cheyenne tree is a nice option for Arizona because it tolerates the southern climate well.

How to Care for A Pecan Tree

Pecan Tree Care in Arizona

Growing pecan trees takes effort, especially in the Arizona climate. With great effort comes big rewards. After you taste your first homegrown pecan, you never go back to purchasing them from the grocery store.

With the right tools and information, you can care for your first pecan tree in Arizona in no time.

Planting Season

Whether growing from saplings or seeds, the pecan planting season begins in January and ends in March. When planting your tree, start by digging a large hole — about three feet deep and two feet wide. Fill half of the hole with water, then add your sapling. Cover with soil until the hole is level with the ground.

Soil Condition

Soil quality is one of the most crucial parts of a pecan tree’s survival in its first five years of life. Soil near rivers and streams is best for pecan trees in Arizona. Soil with proper drainage is also optimal for pecan trees.

Avoid planting the sapling at high elevations because they become more susceptible to frost damage.

Sufficient Water

The most important aspect when caring for a pecan tree is the water supply. Pecan trees are water sensitive, and if their roots dry out, the tree dies. Ensure proper hydration for an Arizona pecan tree with consistent watering.

For the best chance of success, plant the tree in a place where water saturates the soil several feet deep.  The more faithfully you water a pecan tree, the more pecans it’ll give you per tree.

Did you know?  Pecan shells can make an excellent mulch.