The Q&A Archives: Care For A Pecan Tree

Question: How do I care for my pecan tree? I am new to gardening and my new home has a pecan tree in the back yard. How can I get a good crop next year?

Answer: If the tree is still young, it will benefit from some fertilizer. Older trees are already reaching their full size and will likely get enough nutrition from what is provided for turf and other plants around the yard.

The most significant thing you can do for the tree is to prevent stresses to the roots. Soil compaction and drought are among the most common problems. Punching holes with an iron rod or similar tool about 8-10" deep every two feet beneath the canopy can help alleviate compaction stress.

During extended summer drought, make sure the tree gets a deep, infrequent soaking of the soil. About an inch of water every 7-10 days is usually adequate. Shallow frequent sprinklings do little if any good. When you water, wet the entire area beneath the canopy, and just beyond if feasible.

The nuts for next season are set in the buds during the late summer and fall. Therefore next year's crop is already determined. Also, pecans tend to bear heavy in alternate years. That is a heavy crop this year means a light crop will follow next year.

Thanks for the question. Please feel free to stop in again with another question any time we can help!

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