According to the University of Florida, the pecan tree is native to the Mississippi floodplain in North America. Pecan trees are monoecious, which means the tree produces both male and female flowers for reproduction.
Male flowers on the pecan tree, or catkins, produce pollen, which is essential for female flowers to produce pecan nuts. According to the University of Florida, cross-pollination between pecan trees increases maximum productivity.
Spikes along the shoot of the tree identify female flowers. According to the New Mexico State University website, the female flower, or pistil, develops the pecan nut within seven months of the growing season if properly pollinated from the male flower.
Understanding the difference between male and female flowers is important for maximum productivity. According to the Oklahoma State University website, pollen shedding and pistil reproductively occurs at separate times. Therefore, cross-pollination between pecan trees is essential for reproduction.