Pecan Tree Care Made Easy
“We provide luscious full limbs and shade, we provide shelter for small animals and birds, and we naturally produce the perfect nut”, boasts the pecan tree!!
What are the key factors to a happy, healthy and productive tree…
- Water- It is so important to water them weekly, especially for the first three years. You must develop a good root system, and that is why water is so important. Neglecting constant watering will result in lost trees.
- Fertilizing- The application of fertilizing the tree is equally important, and the way you do it is quite important as well. Never fertilize in the planting hole as it might cause burning of the roots because of the over concentrated levels of fertilizer. Actually, this could kill the trees quickly. Fertilizing should take place in June following the planting. It is recommended to use about one pound of 5-10-15 fertilizer to be distributed in a 25-foot square area around the tree. The following year, you should apply 10-10-10 fertilizer in March and again in June. Again, remember to avoid fertilizing near the root of the trees; always allow 12inches from the trunk when fertilizing. If your trees are young trees or established trees; apply one pound of ammonium nitrate fertilizer per inch of trunk and this should be done in June or July. Or, as a general practice; you should apply one pound of zinc-sulfate per tree for the first three years following planting. Remember to spread the fertilizer and zinc sulfate in a circular motion around the tree outside of the planting hole and trunk roots.
If you are even concerned with your trees nutrition, there are analyzing leaf sample mailing kits and instructions for taking samples available from your county Extension office. This report will tell you how much zinc to apply.
- Soil Check- During the warm summer months additional watering may be required as it is so important to maintain good moisture to develop good strong and hearty growth from bloom to shell hardening. It trees fail to receive adequate soil moisture levels late in the season you get shuck split and water reserves are affected in the tree. You will be assured of poor watering and drought conditions of the soil when you experience small nuts, premature dropped nuts, poorly filled nuts and or inferior quality. Be cautious and careful of Soil Moisture Maintenance from August through October.
- Insect Control- It’s rare that yard or home orchard trees will develop serious insect problems. But your quick and careful inspections will eliminate serious problems. Some of the most common pests can be controlled with insecticides that are available without a pesticide license using application instructions that are safe to use around children and pets. Follow all label instructions and carefully read directions for the best use practices. A few suspects to invade your trees are: Weevils, Aphids, but the major of these is the Pecan Scab and it will truly devastate unsprayed trees – the prolonged period of leaf and nut wetness; the longer the heavier and more likely the scab possibility.
- Invaders of the Tree- Often squirrels will become pest. You cannot legally poison squirrels or birds; however, creating a barrier and trapping do offer some alternatives for protection of the tree. A barrier on a tree can be created by adding a metal shield about 20- 24 inches wide that encircles the tree trunk about five feet above the ground. Be cautious of tree growth, and be aware of the metal band to be adjusted or released as the tree grows. Trapping is also an option.
After all these great tips, you the Pecan Grower might ask, “Are we there yet?”. Yes, the harvest is now upon you! Gather your delicious nuts quickly to prevent nut loss and deterioration. Harvest quickly and store those nuts in a cool, clean, dry place. Enjoy them all year round!!
Not able to plant your own pecans right now?
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