Lakota' was released in 2007 by the USDA for all growing regions (Thompson et al., 2007). 'Lakota' was selected for its high nut quality, high yield potential, early nut maturity, and excellent tree strength. 'Lakota' was selected from the cross 'Mahan' x 'Major' and was tested as USDA 64-6-502. 'Lakota' is promising because of its high levels of scab resistance and early harvest date (about 2 weeks after 'Pawnee'). Another plus for 'Lakota' is that it has type II flowers and may be able to be used as a pollinator for other early cultivars like 'Pawnee', 'Mandan', and 'Byrd'.
We planted six Lakota trees in our trial orchard in 2009. Trees just started to begin fruiting in 2013. We have not seen leaf scab on these unsprayed trees, even in 2013 with a lot of rainfall. In 2012 black aphid damage was very noticeable and we need to watch this pest. Early observations from a few other trees a couple of years older than these indicate that 'Lakota' is a vigorous tree with dark green leaves. Early results give us a nut size of about 54 nuts/lb and 58% kernel. Nut size is somewhat variable, even within the same cluster.
Young trees are setting a crop ahead of the other cultivars planted at the same time and cluster size is large, indicating this is likely a precocious cultivar. The little I have seen of this tree so far looks pretty good. This is one the few early harvest cultivars with large nut size, and it so far has excellent scab resistance. However, some early testers of this cultivar have not liked the nut quality as the trees matured. Right now we can not recommend planting any more than test blocks of 'Lakota'.
You can read more about 'Lakota' at the following websites:
- William Reid compares 'Pawnee' to 'Lakota'
- USDA - New high-Yielding Pecan is right for Many Regions
- TAMU - 'Lakota'