pecan tree care question

alan8(8)November 4, 2007

I'm in south alabama. I've just aquired land with 3 very large pecan trees. They are very small nuts but very tasty. What are the basic steps in caring for these trees? Should I fertilize every year? What time of year? What fertilizer? Are there any other additives (minerals) that can be applied as a "general" yearly care program? The soil here tends to be very acidic.

Is there any need for a winter trunk spray?

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Check the TAMU website linked below for starter info, but you might also check with your local AL Cooperative Extension Service office for detailed info customized for your area - AU has several of the premier pecan researchers in the country on staff, including Dr. Bill Goff, and Cathy Browne.
Due to the drought situation, pecan size is down this year - I was back home in Auburn a week or so back, and the old Stuart & Mahan trees were dropping their nuts - all were half normal size, if not smaller, but surprisingly well-filled.

Here is a link that might be useful: Home Fruit Production - Pecans

    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 2:24PM
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softmentor(z9/sunset13 CA desert)

I do not know about your area at all, but in general, mature trees need very little. A small amount of manure could be good. Let the natural leaf litter remain as a mulch.
Mahan is the largest pecan and the variety that does best in my area. They should be a good size in a normal year. If they consistently do not get enough water year after year, you may want to consider some irrigation.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 10:41PM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

I new this old man that would fertilize his trees ever year before harvest like late august with 5-10-15 pecan special fertilizer the special was 1% zinc in units thats about 5 pounds zinc sulfate in buck forum. His best production on one tree was 850 lbs his average was about 400 lbs per tree on 15 trees ever year. When county agents come to be he build house in old pecan orchard he never made over 50 lbs per tree. So buy 100 lbs of zinc sulfate divide it amoung your 3 trees and fertilizer in fall earily mature trees only need it to recover from summer crop load you can double size those nut just buy fertilizer change soil ph be very hard to do and all this going take time so what do you want see for 2 to 3 years if miss year have to start over it take 5 years to see protencial of pecan tree. At todays pecan prices those 3 trees can easly pay your taxes and for fertilizer in future.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 11:24AM
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Productive nut trees are heavy nitrogen users; 5-10-15 is a low-N fertilizer - I'd be more inclined to use 13-13-13 or even straight ammonium nitrate to get more N to my trees, depending upon whether a soil test indicated that I needed additional P&K. I would be more inclined to do split fertilization applications in Mar, Apr, May, June - when the tree is growing, setting & filling nuts, not in late August when the bulk of the deed is done.
Zinc deficiency can be a significant problem in some areas; efficacy of soil application of ZnSO4 is debatable - most commercial pecan operations apply it as a foliar spray.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 6:22AM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

you can overcome some zinc deficiency with nitrogen, but you can overcome a lot nitrogen deficiency with zinc. Soil applied to acid soil works great. Mature yard trees need no zinc spraying nor do need high nitrogen they are large. No need to try to correct acid soil on large trees it take to long applied to surface of soil can not be tilled no more than 3 inch under tree are roots be damaged. Lime added along with zinc will tie zinc before reaches roots of mature tree and tieup iron. Alan8 adding zinc and iron to soil be best along with winter months so rain and soil mositure be there at same time carry it downward to roots. August on mature trees so as to grow larger buds for next spring 4 lbs fertilizer per inch of diameter out to dripline and about 10 foot past dripline. Yes Its chore if don't have spreader liquid iron at gallon per tree on soil work incirle tree about 4 foot apart will be easyier with liquid iron straight steam on soil be ok no need spray fan out.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 8:51PM
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I live in Mobile Alabama and have a huge pecan tree but I am never able to get nuts from it because the bird and squirrels eat holes in the new nuts before they develop. What can I do, short of shooting the bird and squirrels which I have been considering.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 10:02AM
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gator_rider2(z8 Ga.)

Hang plastic owl in tree don't put on post not eneff movement use owls with ridge head don't get swivel ones. Use long string so move in breezes. This work on crows and some on squirrels the best of traps for squirrels is squirrel pole with snars about six per pole they will fill all snares. Semetimes a hole in nut not just birds are squirrel are crow there flying squirrel eating at night if small round hole about sixe BB its pecan weevils bugs.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 5:03PM
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We recently bought a home in Tennesee and it has 4 pecan trees on the property.I know nothing about the care of these trees do they produce well in this part of the country? The gentleman that we bought the home from said that last year there was maybe 4or5 pecans on one of the trees but he doesn't live in the area anymore so we are unable to ask him any questions about the care and such.Any information on this would be helpful. Thanks

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 5:39PM
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What part of TN are you in? Pecan is native to west TN, but has been planted in middle & east TN as well
Pecans - if they're varieties suited to your area - should do OK. Varieties selected or bred for production in the 'northern/midwestern' pecan belt will probably work best in most of the Volunteer state, but some of the Southern pecan varieties might do well. However, if they're seedling trees, nut quality will be an 'unknown' until they bear for you.
You'll find that in all likelihood, you'll get good crops every other year, or every couple of years, with 'off' years resulting in few to no nuts produced.

Here is a link that might be useful: Growing Pecans in Missouri

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 12:26AM
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Sounds like you have native trees as you descrive the nuts, very tasty and small. OK late fertilizatibn this time of year can damage your trees in the winter because the fertilization will promoting late growth causing your trees will stay active later than normal making them susceptible to freeze damage. Fertilize from April or just as you see buds developing until June monthly. Get your soil tested so you can see what you need. You want your ph to be about 7.5. Your soil sample results will tell you how much Nitrogen and Phosphorus you need and anything else. Were late in July now so water is the best thing you can do. With it this hot do not apply zinc as a foliar spray it could burn the leaves. If you just have to do that apply it late - late in the day so it will be cool outside. Keep an eye out for bugs and worms... good luck


    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 10:43AM
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last year allthe pecans on mt 2 trees had bugs in the even the bark had something that left a trail of sawdust, what should i do this year to keep them out

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 6:54PM
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I've grown two pecan trees from seed...they are 5 years old...and do not produce pecans. They are very healthy but do not have catkins or the long stamins in the spring. What's going on?

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 12:57PM
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My pecan tree doesn't have any blooms yet. It did not produce but maybe 12 pecans last year and the year before that was hit with the storm no damage to it though. What do you think it needs and can I still fertilize this time of year.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 10:40AM
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I have two pecan trees. The one, I believe is a Stuart and it is after six years grown to 30-35' tall. It is producing nuts each year. Probably not overly abundant by some standards but OK by mine. The other tree which may be a Mahan (but I'm not sure) was planted almost the same time as the Stuart. It is much smaller but this year has hit a growth spurt. Unfortunatly, this tree has never fruited one nut. Can someone tell me what I can do to turn this condition around? Is there a fertilizer element I may be lacking which is causing this? Or should I just cut it down and start over with another tree?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 5:33PM
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I have two pecan trees and they have produced every year, last year however all the pecans were rotten even the squirrels wouldn't eat them. This year I have clusters of small gray cattapillers on one tree on the bark, not in the leaves in a web. What's going on? And what can I do?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 2:42AM
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