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12/4/2012 2:28:00 PM
Pecan harvest goes nuts
Ideal season leads to quantity of quality
The Verde Valley has well over 10,000 pecan trees that produce more than 250,000 pounds of pecans. Itís relatively small in comparison with pecan growing areas, but Arizona is now among the top six pecan-producing states in the country
The Verde Valley has well over 10,000 pecan trees that produce more than 250,000 pounds of pecans. Itís relatively small in comparison with pecan growing areas, but Arizona is now among the top six pecan-producing states in the country
Because the nuts fall out of the tree with other parts of the tree, growers use a machine that separates the pecan nut from the leaves. They are then bagged for market. Most local growers donít separate the nut from the shell.
Because the nuts fall out of the tree with other parts of the tree, growers use a machine that separates the pecan nut from the leaves. They are then bagged for market. Most local growers donít separate the nut from the shell.


Steve Ayers
Staff Reporter


CAMP VERDE - Like so many other tree-grown crops, there are good years, so-so years and not so good years. Then every so often there is one of those years that make you glad you are in the orchard business.

For many valley pecan growers, this is one of those years.

"This has been one of the most ideal years I can remember," says Camp Verde grower Dick Tinlin. "I'm won't go so far as to say it is the best ever, but it is much better than average and the weather has been absolutely perfect, with no hard freezes and no real wind."

Tinlin, owner of Summer Place Farms, has been growing pecans in the Verde Valley since he planted 30 acres with 1,440 trees in 1978.

If not for having made some major changes to the grove, in which he radically trimmed back many of his trees, he says he may have had a record crop. As it is he will probably harvest about 20 tons.

Today, though, he says he is less interested in quantity and more so on quality.

"The market has changed over the years. I help harvest other properties but I no longer mess with them unless they are clean, no cattle that may bring e.coli and well taken care of. It makes a big difference when they go to market," he says.

Local grower Frank Geminden, who owns about 8 acres of trees, says his orchard was hit and miss this year, but overall a good one.

"I'd describe my year as just fine. Any year you don't get killed is a good year. From what I've heard from other growers it's been a pretty good year," says Geminden.

Geminden says that most people who have a few trees in the yard will do better this year than last, but results will vary.

"There are a lot of variables -- weather, water, variety of pecan, an early frost, too much wind in the springtime. They are just so may factors that can affect it. And as a general rule, pecans are an on-year, off-year crop," he says.

According to Tinlin there are somewhere between 250 and 400 acres of pecan tress in the valley if all the backyard trees are considered. But less than half of the estimated 250,000 pounds harvested every year make it to a commercial market.

"After I planted my trees I bought two more truckloads of trees, about 4,000. I sold most of them before they hit town. I have no idea where they all went or how many survived but I'd estimate there are currently over 10,000 trees around the valley," he says.

According to Tinlin and Geminden, the valley supports at least six different varieties, including Wichita, Mohawk, Pawnee, Cheyenne, Western Schley and Choctaw.

Taylor Waste

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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, December 8, 2012
Article comment by: Summer Place Pecan Farm

We are located at 213 East Quarterhorse Lane in Camp Verde. Please call our store at 928 567 5202 for directions or if you have any questions. Thank you, hope to see you at the Farm!!

Posted: Friday, December 7, 2012
Article comment by: Camp Verde

And your farm is located where?

Posted: Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Article comment by: Summer Place Pecan Farm

Our farm store is open daily 9-5 with all your holiday pecan delights. We have shelled and in the shell nuts along with flavored pecan gift ideas. We offer shipping also.Visitors to the farm are always welcome.



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