Whether they’re used for pecan pie or as fancy salad garnish, pecans are a treat that can elevate any holiday dish. Although pecans can be rather pricey, those of us who live in Plano don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune to get our seasonal fix. All we have to do is take advantage of a sunny day and spend an hour or so in Oak Point Park.
Because large swaths of Oak Point Park are prone to flooding, the soil is enriched by silt, making it ideal for pecan trees. But that’s not to say that pecan trees can only be found in the park—roadway medians can also be a great place to look.
Anyone can gather pecans from public land, which makes it a great family outing. And because you can just pick them from the ground, young children especially like to hunt for these nuts with their own little buckets.
Just remember a few rules of the road before you get out:
- Do not climb or shake the trees. Climbing and shaking the trees can damage them (and is strongly prohibited by Plano Parks and Recreation). Besides, the pecans harvested this way may not even be ripe.
- Avoid moist pecans. They are most likely rotten.
- Gather what you need. When you’re gathering pecans in a public space, this is just a common courtesy. Remember, unshelled pecans stored in a cool, dry place can last for 6 to 12 months. But if you still have more than what you will use, shelled pecans make an excellent gift for the neighbors.
We’re at the height of pecan season now, but the ground will soon be picked over (human beings aren’t the only nutters out there). If you find yourself empty-handed, don’t panic and whatever you do, don’t waste the day! There are always acorns to pick up. Sure, they may not be palatable, but with some glitter and glue (and a little help from Pinterest), they can make for one awesome Thanksgiving centerpiece.
Are pecans on your brain? Let us know what you think!
Oak Point Park
Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve—Plano’s largest park—is an 800-acre park extending from Parker Road on the south to Chaparral Road on the north and from Spring Creek Parkway on the west to Los Rios Boulevard on the east. The park boasts 3.5 miles of concrete trails and 5 miles of soft surface trails, located along Rowlett Creek. Nature trails are open from sunrise to sunset daily.
- Hike and Bike Trail
5901 Los Rios Blvd.
(Between Jupiter and Parker Road)
Plano, TX 75074
Opening Hours: 5 a.m.–11 p.m.
Oak Point Park Nature & Retreat Center
Overlooking the majestic beauty of Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve, the new facility is one of the most unique venues in Plano for special gatherings like weddings, parties, corporate retreats, business meetings and much more. Click here to read more about this newly opened facility.
Location: 5901 Los Rios Blvd., Plano
Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m.–8 p.m.
Fridays & Saturdays, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
Sundays, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Contact: Chauncey Deller, 972.941.5402