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What are the Best Tips for Planting Pecan Trees?

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  • Written By: Susan Grindstaff
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 05 May 2020
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Some gardeners claim that one of the most important things to keep in mind when planting pecan trees is location. When full grown, the trees can exceed 100 feet (30 m), so it is considered a good idea to be sure the location is suitable for a tree of that size. Before planting, it might also be a good idea to test the soil, as there are many varieties of pecan trees, and they have slightly different soil requirements. Make sure that the planting site provides soil that is compatible with the type of pecan tree that is being planted. Late winter or early spring are considered the best times to plant, and some experts advocate planting on cloudy days with high humidity.

Before planting pecan trees, it is usually a good idea to soak the root ball in some warm water for an hour or two. This is typically done to rid the root system of dirt and debris so that any rot or dead roots are easily visible. Any damage found after cleaning should be removed before planting.

When choosing a location for planting, it is a good idea to avoid marshy areas. Pecan trees can tolerate many types of soil; however, most all pecan trees require soil that has good drainage. The best place to plant is probably an area without standing water, ideally on a slope or hill.

One mistake some people seem to make when planting pecans trees is placing the tree in a hole that is too large for the root system. Just because the tree will end up being very large, does not mean the hole should start out that way. The hole should be just slightly larger than the root ball. Pecan trees have a vigorous root system that will easily penetrate any hard-packed soil directly surrounding the hole. If the soil content is very sandy or clay-based, it may be a good idea to mix in some compost or moss.

After planting pecan trees, some gardeners advocate immediate pruning, which generally involves cutting back the upper half of the tree. This is believed to encourage rapid growth. Pecan trees typically do best in southern climates of North America. When planting pecan trees in other areas, it is probably a good idea to consult with a local nursery to determine if there is a variety available that is adaptable to other climates. With extra care, some varieties can withstand colder climates.

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