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Average nut quality of test trees from 2002-2013.

Cultivar Yield # Nuts / lb. % Kernel Cluster Size Harvest date
  lbs./tree/year       (50% shuck split)
Excel 29.9 45 50% 3.3 Oct. 13
Desirable 20.3 45 51% 2.4 Oct. 14
Stuart 24.5 47 45% 2.6 Oct. 20

Average pest resistance of test trees 2002-2013.

Cultivar Leaf ScabZ Nut ScabY Black Aphid DamageX Sooty Mold BuildupW
  Avg. (worst)V Avg. (worst) Avg. (worst) Avg. (worst)
Excel 1.0 (1.0) 1.0 (1.0) 1.3 (2.2) 1.0 (1.1)
Desirable 2.2 (4.0) 2.9 (5.0) 1.7 (2.7) 1.1 (2.0)
Stuart 1.4 (2.8) 1.5 (3.5) 2.3 (3.8) 1.1 (2.0)
  • Z 1=No scab, 2= Few stray spots, 3=Several spots with expanding lesions, 4=Stem scab or defoliation.
  • Y 1=No scab, 2=Few stray spots, 3=Obvious scab but no quality loss (0-10%), 4=10-50% shuck coverage, 5=50-100% covered, nut drop.
  • X 1=No damage, 2=Light spotting, less than 25% leaves affected, 3=Moderate spotting, 25-75% leaves, 4=Heavy spotting, >75% leaves affected, some leaves completely yellow.
  • W 1=None, 2=Light, some black on few leaves, 3=moderate, black on most leaves, 4=Heavy, black flakes on leaves and stems.
  • V Average score over all years and average of worst year for each trait.

Average yield (pounds nuts per tree) of test cultivars each year from planting in 2002.

Cultivar # Trees 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Excel 6 0 0 0 0.1 2.4 8 17 37 37 74 31 123
Desirable 6 0 0 0 0.5 2.7 11 23 24 45 53 45 43
Stuart 5 0 0 0 0 0.6 7 20 30 54 48 58 76


Discovered as a seedling tree on a pecan farm near Blackshear, Ga. Read more about 'Excel'.


‘Excel’ was discovered as a seedling tree on a pecan farm near Blackshear, Ga. It is patented and disseminated by Mr. Andy Clough who operates a nursery on his farm. We began testing this selection in 2002. We have never observed scab on this cultivar in our orchard, and has excellent resistance. However, it has been reported to scab at its home orchard in 2013.

Trees are slow to break buds in the spring, and are among the last to flower. However, yields were a little slow on young trees, perhaps due to slow growth of trees we grafted ourselves. Lately, yields have been very high, but flucuating with fairly strong alternation for young trees. Nut size is large, and similar to 'Desirable'. The shell is thick, like 'Gloria Grande', and this limits percent kernel to about 50-51% on a very well-filled nut. The kernel has a bright golden color (better than in the pictures above) with an attractive shape. Kernel color holds very well in storage. Trees are reported to be early harvest in Blackshear, but we have found them to be similar to 'Desirable' in our orchard. 'Excel' is a type II (protogynous) cultivar, which has very late bud break and flowering. 'Excel' would be pollinated by 'Elliott', 'Gafford', 'Kanza', 'Mandan', 'MoneyMaker', 'Schley'.

Cluster size and nut size of 'Excel' are large, suggesting that nut thinning may be necessary in mature trees. However, tree limbs are relatively thin, producing a willowy growth that may make it difficult to mechanically thin the crop. Many acres of this cultivar have been planted throughout Georgia, and we will soon know more about its performance.

We recommend this cultivar for low input and organic plantings because it is one of the few cultivars with large nut size and high resistance to scab. It also appears to have good resistance to both black and yellow aphids. We only recommend it for trial in commercial plantings because of its low percent kernel and low yields. I also believe that it may be difficult to consistently shell 'Excel' nuts into clean halves.

This is a patented cultivar, and trees may be obtained through Mr. Andy Clough at (912) 288-4895.