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Average nut quality of test trees 2002-2013.

Cultivar Yield #Nuts/lb. %Kernal Cluster Size Harvest Date
  lbs./tree/year       (50% shuck split)
Gafford 10.3 48 50% 2.8 Oct. 16
Desirable 8.7 44



Oct. 15

Sumner 15.4 54 51% 3.9 Oct. 15

Average pest resistance of test cultivars 2005-2013.

Cultivar Leaf ScabZ Nut ScabY Black Aphid DamageX Sooty Mold BuildupW
  Avg. (worst)V Avg. (worst) Avg. (worst) Avg. (worst)
Gafford 1.0 (1.0) 1.0 (1.0) 1.1 (1.2) 1.0 (1.0)
Desirable 2.4 (4.0) 3.8 (5.0) 1.3 (2.7) 1.0 (1.0)
Sumner 1.0 (1.0) 1.0 (1.0) 1.9 (4.0) 1.0 (1.0)
  • 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 2005.

Cultivar # Trees 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Gafford 4 0 0 0 0 0.1 6 17 40 31
Desirable 6 0 0 0 0 1 4 16 29 30
Sumner 4 0 0 0 0 0.4 3 28 27 81


An Alabama seedling.


This seedling was selected By Dr. Bill Goff for its excellent pest resistance. We have not seen it have any scab in our sprayed or unsprayed trials. It produces a good sized nut with average quality. Harvest date here has been late, similar to 'Sumner'. A very thick shell will prevent its % kernel from ever going above about 50%. We have often noted some fuzz on its kernels and in 2010 also saw some spotting on the kernels.

Yield was light early in this test, but these trees suffered from transplanting shock and did not grow off well in the early years. However, we should see better yields soon.

This tree was selected for low-input plantings and will likely only be useful to growers who need excellent pest resistance. To me, its main competitor is 'McMillan'. We have tested both, and at this point, I prefer 'McMillan' to 'Gafford'. While 'Gafford' is slightly bigger than 'McMillan' (48 vs. 51 nuts/lb), 'McMillan appears to be more productive and earlier than 'Gafford'. 'McMillan' also doesn't seem to have the spotting and kernel fuzz problems of 'Gafford'. However, Dr. Goff rates scab resistance in 'Gafford' as superior to 'McMillan', as 'McMillan' scabs in his tests similar to 'Sumner'.

'Gafford' is a type I cultivar and we are still determining what its exact bloom times are to know what would be a good pollinator, it might be a good one to mix in with 'McMillan' as a pollinator.

More information is available on 'Gafford' from the Alabama Pecan Growers website.