National Geographic : 1957 Oct
Commercial pecan rais ing, however, waited un til comparatively recent years. Heavy plantings for orchards came between 1920 and 1930. Improved varieties have been devel oped so that they now number more than 100. The world's largest single grove of cultivated pecans was started in 1933 near Las Cruces, New Mexico; today 75,000 pecan trees grow there on 4,000 acres of the Stah mann Farms, Inc., irri gated by wells and by water of the Rio Grande. Pecan wood is in in creasing demand for fur niture and flooring. Hard and heavy, it takes polish handsomely and is highly resistant to sharp, sudden impacts. Sapwood is whit ish or lightly tinged with brown; heartwood, pale to reddish brown. Like that of other hickories, pecan wood is prized as fuel for smoking meats. 541 Volkmar Wentzel, National Geographic Photographer Young Mouths Water for Pecan Pralines Hot from the Pan School children line up at the counter of a New Orleans cafe for Ma Lou's sweets, a blend of brown sugar, nuts, and butter. + Many orchards use mechanical shakers to thresh pecans. A revolving steel pole aboard a tractor (left) knocks down the fruit in this Moody, Texas, grove. Some of the trees are more than 50 years old.