Submitted to: Fruit Varieties Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 2, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Pecan breeding began in the late 1880's. Pioneers like E. E. Risien of San Saba County in Central Texas accomplished a great deal by identifying superior trees to be propagated as new cultivars. They also used this superior tree to breed even better cultivars. These improved cultivars yielded more pecans per tree, and were easier for the orchard manager to care for. Risien used a tree for breeding that he found in 1882 and which he named the Mother 'San Saba.' This tree is still healthy and growing today on the banks of the San Saba River.
Technical Abstract: Possibly the most famous pecan (Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch) tree is the Mother 'San Saba' discovered by Mr. E. E. Risien in 1882. Today this tree is still healthy and growing on the banks of the San Saba River in Central Texas. Risien used the 'San Saba' tree to breed pecan for many years. Seedlings from this tree became the 'San Saba Improved,' 'Sovereign,' 'Onliwon' and 'Texas 60.' The 'San Saba' cultivar is precocious, prolific and a regular bearer. It is susceptible to scab [Cladosporium caryigenum (Ell. et Lang.) Gottwald]. Blooming habit is protandrous. The nut is small, but otherwise high in quality.