How to prune young pecan trees
Pruning Young Trees | UGA Pecan Extension
Jan 12, 2017 | Written by Lenny Wells
We’re headed into my least favorite time of year. When I was younger I enjoyed cold weather a lot more than I do now. The crop is about done, deer season is over, football is almost over, I’m not much of a basketball fan, and baseball won’t be starting up for a few months. In addition, we are starting up the grueling meeting season, which runs through the end of March. The meetings themselves are no problem but the road gets tiring and there’s always more catching up to do when I get back to the office. In the middle of all this, its pruning season and pruning young trees is one of my least favorite things to discuss primarily because there is no one correct way to do it. Most likely, if you ask a hundred different people how to prune a tree, you’ll get a hundred different answers.
Its difficult to describe pruning of a tree through a computer screen but I’ll do my best to explain my own method:
Year 1: Prune the tree back at planting by cutting off a portion of the top of the tree. The rule of removing about 1/3 of the tree at planting is thrown around a lot but that’s not set in stone. Basically, the larger the tree you plant, the greater percentage you need to cut back. If you plant a 3 foot tree, cut it back by only about 6-8″. If you plant a 6 foot tree, cut it back to about 4-4.5 feet in height, if you plant a 10 foot tree, cut about 1/2 of it off. The goal, no matter what size tree you plant, is to bring the above ground portion of that tree back to a size that the limited root system can support. A tree removed from the nursery bed and re-planted in the ground will undergo transplant shock to some extent, the more above ground portion the reduced root system has to support, the greater the shock, the more stress that tree will be under and the less vigorous, new growth it will put on. Following the initial pruning at planting I leave the tree alone throughout the whole growing season, allowing it to produce and retain as much foliage as possible to feed the root system for the following year’s growth.
Pruning tree back at planting
Tree cut back after planting. It should look like this (just taller) going into year 2 as well unless the tree has good limbs at 6 ft or higher
Year 2: In most cases, going into the second growing season, I will prune the tree back to one central leader again and tip the end of the central leader about an inch above a bud, just below where the buds begin to space out more. The buds are generally clustered closely together near the top of the tree. Definitely prune out any forked or “V” shaped structures and crow’s feet (a cluster of limbs all shooting out from the same point). The goal here is to have one central leader. You want your first scaffold limbs to be head high or a little above head high to allow for the passage of equipment through the orchard as the tree grows. If you don’t cut any lower limbs off now you will be doing it later with a chain saw when they are bearing nuts, which makes it harder to do. Most trees going into the second year do not have any limbs high enough (about 6 feet) to leave as scaffold limbs. If they do, see comments for year 3 below.
Crows foot requiring pruning Limb breakage at un-pruned crows foot
Narrow limb angle Tree split by wind at narrow limb angle, which should have been pruned years before
Year 3: Leave one or more scaffold limbs going up the tree beginning at about 6 feet, spaced at roughly 12″-18″ apart. Again there’s no magic about the numbers here, 12-18″ is just a general guideline. Its ok if they’re 10″ apart or 24″ apart. You want the scaffold limbs to be at about 60-80 degree angles, ideally. Try to alternate leaving scaffold limbs on one side of the tree and then the other so that they are staggered and balance out. Remove any shoots or limbs coming off the scaffold limbs growing toward the inside of the tree. This will allow air flow and sunlight into the center of the tree. Narrow angles less than 60 degrees should be eliminated because they are likely to break out or split. Keep the central leader going in the top of the tree for as long as you can reach it. Prune out any more forks and crows feet that have developed. Don’t tip the ends of scaffold limbs or branches in the winter. This tends to make them grow out more vigorously and may generate more crows feet and branching. Tip pruning of limbs should be done in summer to prevent this.
Tree going into 3rd growing season prior to pruning
Same tree after pruning
Year 4 and beyond: Keep to the same pattern as Year 3. Usually if you are diligent about pruning in the first 3 years there is very little to be done after that.
Pruning is much more difficult on some varieties than others based on their branching structure. For example an Oconee is very easy to prune because it tends to naturally grow along a central leader and develop scaffold limbs with good angles coming off the trunk. However, Pawnee develops many clusters of branches at narrow angles that must be pruned away. Pawnee is in fact probably the most difficult variety to prune or at least the one that requires the most work. Don’t be afraid of pruning too hard. In most cases, growers err on the side of not pruning enough. young trees respond well to pruning, which only makes them more vigorous and healthy.
Developmental Pruning of Nursery Pecan Trees - Pecan South MagazinePecan South magazine
I feel truly fortunate and blessed to have been born into the pecan industry and to have been able to make a living at something I truly love to do. It has not always been easy, but it has been gratifying. I was also fortunate to have a mentor to encourage me early on. My grandfather, the late Travis Jenkins, was that and more. A grower and accumulator just south of Memphis, Tennessee, right on the Mississippi River in the Mississippi Delta, my grandfather was an avid supporter of the pecan industry in the Southeast. He offered me an education if I wanted it, complete with a Ph.D. I didn’t take the offer. (It’s called being young and dumb.) He also encouraged me to broaden my horizons. So for the last 35 years or so, I’ve wandered around, mostly in the Southeast, working on pecan trees in orchards and nurseries. Through this opportunity, I have been able to observe trees planted in just about any situation you can imagine. In other words, I’ve seen and dealt with the good, the bad, and the ugly. With no college classroom education, all I can offer is a realistic look at my experiences and observations of the establishment of a new tree in your orchard. I will attempt to do that in this article. It’s pretty basic, and most of it is applicable east or west.
A bareroot tree planted in plastic and growing in nursery.
In an effort to create more pecan acreage and pounds of pecans to sell, proper pruning of your newly set out trees seems to be, for the most part, ignored. I agree that nuts in the bag mean money in the pocket. However, this misconception that pruning a new tree delays pecan production is causing unnecessary tree loss. We should make growing a tree with the best root system and best structure our first priority. The top can be grown anytime.
Before real production starts, I believe that encouraging a proper regeneration of the root system can be achieved in the first four years. Fortunately, you can have your cake and eat it too! A pecan tree responds well to being cut on. If you don’t believe it, look at a tree that has been hedged. It will explode with new growth. So, let’s look at why a sound root system and tree structure are important and talk about a plan to achieve that goal.
The Perfect Seedling
I see the roots as having two jobs: to store and feed the tree, and to anchor the tree. The first job is obvious and acknowledged by all. The second job, I believe, is little understood or often misunderstood. The perfect seedling is a tree planted from a seed, never moved, and top-worked where it is. Why? The root system is never disturbed, and the entire taproot is intact. Anchorage of the tree is assured because the root system is in proportion to the top. There is as much or more under the ground in the root system as there is above the ground. This is demonstrated in the photo above. The tree in that photo was planted from a seed and is 2 years old.
This growth is not so with a set-out tree. When you set out a tree that has been planted and then dug up at a nursery, you must allow that tree to regrow a root system. As long as the top of the tree is out of proportion with the roots, the root system will work to feed that top and will be unable to reestablish itself. Since most plantings are much too large for planting a seed in place, we must rely on nurseries to provide the trees we need.
A Trip to the Nursery
Except for some bucket trees, most nursery trees being planted are bareroot trees. Most bareroot trees are planted in plastic, grafted in their second year, have the top grown for a year, and then dug. Some are budded the second year, and then dug in the third year, as in Photo 3. Either way, when the tree is dug, no matter how tall the top is, the root ball is about the same size. Even at this point, the top is out of proportion with the roots. But the two will never be this close again. So, planting is the time to give the tree a chance to correct itself. This time is when a plan to keep the top cut back for the first two to four years before the tree gets into production comes into play.
Helping a Tree to Adapt
So, you have purchased your tree. As we mentioned before, this purchase marks the first time this tree has been moved. Think of it this way: If I came to your house one night at 2 a.m. without warning, woke you from a sound sleep, wouldn’t even let you get out of your pajamas, put you on a plane to Istanbul, Turkey, dropped you off there, and told you this was your new home, how would you react? You would need a little time to adjust, wouldn’t you? You might even need a little help! That is what we are doing to these newly dug nursery trees. We have moved them away from their home and put them in Istanbul, Turkey—AKA your farm.
So, you should be asking yourself, “What can I do to make that tree’s adjustment easier?” Very briefly, I want to hit on a couple of things you should consider: 1) A pecan tree needs well-drained soil. Quit trying to plant those areas in your field that are too low and wet for the tree to do well, just because they are there; 2) You should have your irrigation ready at planting. Don’t make the tree suffer for water any more than it already has at digging. It takes a lot of water to rehydrate a tree. All too often, I’ve seen trees not receive water for some time, or even at all, after planting. That’s not helping a tree adjust! And it’s not a way to keep a good tree alive either; 3) I personally don’t like to see any nitrogen put on a freshly planted tree for the first year. On the other hand, I believe phosphorous and potassium are very helpful. Take soil samples ahead of time and see your county agent for recommendations for your site.
Year One: Planting Your Tree!
Before we get into how to prune a newly set-out tree (and although this article is not about how to plant a tree), I would offer one comment in that regard. Watch your planting depth. I have seen a lot of trees planted too deep. A pecan tree has a hard time getting past that. It presents a lot of problems. I had rather see a tree planted too shallow than too deep!
Alright, you have the tree in the ground. Now the $64,000 question is: How much do you cut off at planting?
Remember the root ball photo? The answer is the bigger the tree, the more you cut off. As a guide, follow this rule: If the tree is 7 feet tall or more, cut it off 2 to 6 inches above your 4-foot herbicide tube. For a 6-foot tree, use a 3-foot tube and cut the tree off right above the tube. For a 4-foot tree, cut a foot off the 3-foot tube and cut the tree off right above the tube. The bigger the tree, the more out of proportion it is, and the more you cut off the top. I know that’s a lot, but try to understand the reasoning. Believe me, the tree will respond.
Year Two: Pruning Tree Coming into Second Leaf
When the next year rolls around, what now? First, let’s talk about the time frame in which this work can be performed: anytime between when the tree goes dormant and, in the Southeast, the end of April is appropriate. My personal preference is March and April. Why? When you cut on a tree, it stimulates it a little, and if you have some warm temperatures early with a late freeze, you could see some damage. But I do understand those of you who have a lot of trees need to start earlier. I suspect the window out West could be shorter, maybe January to March.
In year two, I’d like to see you poll the tree back. In other words, cut all side limbs off. Pick your central leader and, as always, cut the top out, and poll all side limbs off. This cut will give you an excellent start to a tree free of bad angles, which we will discuss more in year three.
Now, suppose you planted your tree and did not cut any of it off. How do you catch up to where you need to be? Simple! Do what you should have done on year one; cut the tree off right above the herbicide tube and start over. You are just a year behind.
Year Three: Pruning Tree Coming into Third Leaf
Same time, different year. If you have followed the plan thus far, all you will need to do is reinstate the central leader, cutting the top out. That top could mean just about as far up as you can reach with loppers.
Speaking of loppers, let’s stop a minute to talk tools. Buy yourself a good pair of hand pruners and a good pair of long-handled loppers. If you follow the plan, these tools are all you will need. You could add a small 21-inch bow saw in years three and four, especially if you are a little behind and playing catchup. These tools are a great deal cheaper to use than front end loaders, chainsaws, and pruning towers when trying to save the tree later on.
So, reinstate the central leader, cut the top out of it, and tip prune side limbs according to a central leader. When done, it should resemble a Christmas tree. Every time you cut a limb or the top back, it forces that growth back and down. That means encouraging root growth and, very importantly, encouraging the trunk’s caliper. During this process, move the bottom limbs up, and you should be looking for your potential first limb from the bottom. We will hit on that more at the beginning of year four.
Be sure all limbs’ angles are good and not too narrow. The crotch of the limb should resemble a U instead of a Y. You need wide angles, especially low on the tree. The lower the limb, the more leverage the wind has on it, and the more likely it is to break out. The higher the limb is, the more give it has.
If you have not done the pruning that you should’ve done up to this point, you will have to play catch up. These photos show a three-year-old tree that was pruned none or very little. To eliminate the poor angles and catch the roots up, this tree had to be pruned extensively. A picture is worth a thousand words!
If you planted a 12- to 15-foot tree and cut nothing off, not even at planting, and it looks like the tree in Photo 16, cut it off about chest high and poll it completely back. Start all over. The reason this tree is leaning is that the root system and the trunk’s caliper are not strong enough to support the top’s weight. Cut it off and start over, or watch a good number of these trees lay over in the wind.
Year Four: Pruning Tree Coming into Fourth Leaf
If you have been doing your job up until now, many trees will need very little help by the fourth year. During this year, check and eliminate all narrow angles. You probably can’t reach the top, but if you can, cut the top out again to eliminate the possibility of crow’s foot and limbs that might compete with the central leader. Once the top gets up to 12 to 15 feet tall, I don’t worry so much about crow’s foot up there. That part of the tree usually develops enough give that you rarely see damage there.
Ok, you may have already chosen your first limb from the ground in year three. If not, move the bottom on up the tree and choose now. You will want to select a wide-angle limb, about 6 feet from the ground. That’s my preference in the Southeast as it allows for proper equipment use and adequate wind flow.
Everything we have covered up to now is pertinent, no matter where you are, East or West. I do acknowledge that the West has no disease pressure, lovely winds, blue skies almost all the time, and no hurricanes. So, as we talk about wind flow in the next paragraph, you western growers take a break.
If you are in the East and spray for fungi, I recommend 6 feet for the bottom limb, while out West I think those guys can go down to 5 feet or as low as they can get their equipment in. They have wind flow. East, you need to allow for it all you can. Most orchards in the East are too close to thickets and pine woods, which impede wind flow. With denser planting, wind flow is cut out even more. So, you should raise the canopy of your trees for maximum wind flow and sunlight. This increase in height will also facilitate your spray programs. With the cost of spray programs, you will need all the help you can get. Western growers are lucky in that regard.
This tree leans to the left because its roots are not strong enough to support its top. Jenkins recommends that you start this tree all over if you planted a 12- to 15-foot tree and cut nothing off, not even at planting, and it looks like this one.
The photos below show some sights you can expect to see if you neglect this critical step in your orchard establishment. If you leave poor narrow angles, the limbs can and will break out. These breaks are almost 100 percent avoidable if you follow a pruning plan for the first four years. Prune hard! Like hair, the branches will grow back, and the tree will respond to being cut on. You can shape your tree in those first years before production and avoid heartbreaking loss of trees later.
As for trees damaged from hurricanes, some of those trees were planted too deep. If you are careful not to plant too deep and to prune these young trees early, I believe a large percentage of these trees would weather the storm and avoid less tree loss. Develop that root system, and the tree will have a much better anchor.
I’m not claiming that this outline is the only way to establish a new tree. Nor am I claiming that if you follow this outline, it will prevent you from ever losing trees. However, I do believe that this plan will help you establish the best and strongest individual trees possible and will cut down significantly on tree loss throughout the years.
Where and how does a pecan grow? Nut Expert
There are more than 15 types of edible nuts in the world and each of them is delicious and unique. Peanuts, almonds, cashews, all of them have long become familiar and affordable for us, but there is a nut that has recently appeared on the Russian market - pecans. This exotic "guest" is a close relative of the walnut, but its mineral and vitamin composition is different. Why was it unavailable to European countries for a long time? Dealing with this is easy if you find out where and how the pecan grows. 9Ol000 Diseases and care
Hickory and Karya
One of the representatives of the Nut family is the hickory tree, the name is taken from the Indian culture. These trees are considered the oldest on earth with a solid trunk. In Greek, the tree received another name "hazel - hazel", but most often this name was identified with a walnut.
After a long study, at the end of the 18th century there was a division into two groups of plants: nuts and hickory, and in 1818 a separate genus Kariya was identified.
Pecan is unique
Hazel pecan or common pecan (pecan) belongs to a tree species of plants from the Nut family. It is often referred to as the king of nuts due to its unique biological composition. It contains:
- vitamin E,
- ascorbic acid,
- polyunsaturated fats.
Thanks to this composition, the nut has a beneficial effect on the body:
- With regular use, developing cancer cells are neutralized.
- Reduces the risk of heart attack, stroke and varicose veins.
- Immunity is strengthened and appetite increases.
- The work of the cardiovascular system is being adjusted.
- Favorably affects the eyes, improves visual acuity.
- Women's hormonal balance is getting better.
And these are far from all the properties of a healthy nut - pecan in its organic composition can absolutely replace meat, so it is a frequent guest on the tables of vegans.
Pecan belongs to the Walnut family of woody plants native to the southeastern United States, but today the tree has successfully established itself in Australia, Spain, Mexico, Turkey and the Caucasus.
Hazel is a tall tree, it can reach 60 m, it has a wide tent-shaped crown, the diameter of which can reach 35-40 m. Depending on where the pecan grows, the tree forms a wide crown either in the shape of a tent or an ellipse. The straight gray trunk is covered with bark with cracks, stratified into plates. The walnut has large, up to 0.5 m leaves with a bright green color, smooth and shiny. The life expectancy of a tree is about 300 years, and throughout the whole time it bears fruit.
In order for the nuts to ripen, a hot and humid climate is necessary, if these conditions are met, the crop ripens in mid-autumn, the ripened fruits fall to the ground on their own.
Many people do not know where the pecan grows, as this crop is little known in Russia. The spread of pecan began from its historical homeland - North America, where it was eaten by Indian tribes. In some Indian tribes in the homeland of the nut, it was believed that pecan helps prolong life, so it was often used by shamans during rituals.
Today, hazel trees grow throughout almost the entire southeastern United States and Central Asia. In the USA, there is even a national dish with this product - pecan pie.
Pecan also grows in Russia, so there are small nut plantations in the Caucasus and Crimea, only here the climate allows it to fully ripen. However, these trees have no industrial value.
Varieties of pecan
Breeding has now developed varieties of pecan that are able to withstand colder temperatures and longer absences of rain, and can also grow in soil poor in organic and mineral matter. In total there are about 150 varieties. The most common varieties of nuts are:
Each of these varieties has a different nutritional composition, but they are all useful in their own way, as they contain more or less vitamins and minerals.
In pecans, the fruits are false drupes of oblong shape 5-8 cm and a width of about 2. 5 cm and a weight of about 18 g. They are covered with a leathery shell, which becomes stiff and cracks after ripening. Fruits are collected in a bunch from 3 to 11 pieces.
Walnut (which is the stone of the fruit) has an oval shape with a pointed top, 2-2.5 cm long. Hazel has a smooth shiny surface, slightly ribbed and wrinkled brownish. The core itself resembles a walnut, but there is still a difference - the pecan has no partitions, and the convolutions are smoother. One tree brings from 5 to 15 kg, depending on its age, very old trees can produce up to 200 kg of nuts.
Self growing pecan
In order for a tree to bear fruit, it is important to follow all the rules for planting and caring for it. Propagation can take place in several ways:
- growing from seeds.
With the last method of planting, seeds should be planted only in fertile soil, in places where water does not stagnate, an important condition is a lighted area, it will be difficult for it to grow in the shade of a house or other trees.
Healthy mature seeds should be planted in the ground in spring or autumn. In the spring version, a necessary condition is the stratification of seeds - they are kept in a humid environment with a temperature of 3-4 C for 50-60 days. The best time to land is April.
For planting, it is necessary to form beds, the distance between rows is at least 1 m. The seeds are lowered into loose soil by 1 cm. After planting, the rows must be watered, sprinkled with sawdust or dry grass. This is necessary in order to protect young shoots from the scorching sun.
The first sprouts during spring planting appear within a month, as soon as they get stronger (after 1-3 years, their height should be at least 150 cm), they can be transplanted to a permanent place. At a permanent place, the seedling sits in a deep hole with a depth and width of at least 60 cm. To grow a healthy tree, you should be careful when planting so as not to damage the pecan root. In the hole, the roots are carefully straightened and sprinkled with loose earth on top, after which the tree is carefully watered and the soil is sprinkled with peat.
Care and top dressing
The main condition for the growth of hazel pecan is regular watering and top dressing, the soil should not dry out, as the roots should always be wet, so during the dry season, watering should be plentiful.
In spring, the tree begins to actively grow, leaves appear, so the trees need to be fed with nitrogen fertilizers. In autumn, fertilizing with potassium and phosphorus is necessary, this is necessary for the ripening of fruits and the growth of wood.
Cutting and finishing
Shaping pruning is carried out when the pecan has grown sufficiently. The procedure should be carried out in the spring, removing dry and damaged or excessively thickening branches. Pruning rejuvenates the tree and gives the crown a neat appearance.
Pecan grown in Russia does not need to be treated for pests, as we do not have them in our country.
Growing a crop in Russia is difficult due to unsuitable climatic conditions, however, botanists bred the northern pecan variety Carlson 3, this nut is adapted to conditions of low temperatures down to -30 C, poor soil and drought. The northern variety is actively cultivated in Canada.
Diseases and care
Since pecans grow in warm climates, the plant can be damaged by mold, especially if the weather is damp and the tree trunk is left in the shade for a long time. The appearance of mold is very dangerous for pecans, as over time it can lead to rotting of the trunk. If the disease is noticed immediately, then it is not difficult to deal with it, for this there are both special chemicals, and ammonia, vinegar or soda can be used.
A special feature of the nut is its hard shell, besides, unlike the walnut, its shell does not have cracks and holes, which is a plus - insects cannot penetrate and damage the nut, but for a person this is a big minus - it is very difficult to get the kernel.
Application of pecan
Pecan is one of the most high-calorie nuts - 690 kcal, it is also the leader in fat content - 72%, while walnuts have 62%. In addition to eating, ordinary pecans are used for other purposes.
- Pecan oil is produced, the properties of which are not inferior to olive oil.
- The cosmetics industry uses extracts from nuts to make cosmetics.
- Wood is an ideal material for making furniture.
Pecan can hardly be called an ordinary nut, since the benefits of eating it are enormous. Just a few nuts a day, two or three times a week, can heal the body and enrich it with useful substances. The main condition is in no case to eat too much at once, so as not to add extra pounds to yourself.
Pecan: planting and care, photo
Pecan is an exotic tree in our area, native to North America. Today, pecans are successfully growing in Central Asia, the Crimea and some regions of Russia.
Common pecan or Illinois hazel belongs to the genus Hickory and the Nut family. It is similar to walnuts in many ways. Under favorable conditions, lives up to four hundred years. The height of the pecan reaches sixty meters, and its crown, wide and sprawling, has a diameter of up to four meters. The trunk of the tree is straight, covered with slightly cracked light brown bark. In adult specimens, the trunk can reach a width of up to three meters. Pecan leaves are large, lanceolate in shape with a dense structure and a smooth surface. The fruits are edible. They have an oblong shape up to eight centimeters long and up to three centimeters wide. Nuts are collected in bunches of a maximum of eleven fruits. Exotic nut kernels have a sweet taste and high calorie content. Fruit ripening occurs in mid-September.
Pecan is a hardy plant. Some of its species safely withstand fairly low temperatures, can tolerate drought and infertile soil well.
The most popular varieties of Pecan are:
Walnut of this type has a lot of useful properties. Its wood, due to its high quality characteristics, is used in the furniture industry. The fruits are used in the food industry, medicine and cosmetology. Walnut kernels are highly nutritious, so they are used as food for loss of appetite, loss of strength and fatigue. Just a few nuclei are enough to replenish the body with nutrients, because they also contain a lot of useful elements (potassium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, magnesium, calcium and a whole group of vitamins). In the food industry, nut butter is made from Pecan fruits, which is almost as good as olive oil in terms of taste and useful properties.
Due to the content of a significant amount of useful elements and a whole complex of vitamins, walnut fruits are used in medicine. Today, science notes the beneficial effects of pecans in the treatment of cancer.
Walnut oil is used for colds, headaches, strengthening the immune system. It is also used in the form of lotions and compresses in the treatment of sunburn, irritation, insect bites.
In addition, the oil perfectly nourishes the skin. Therefore, it is recommended to rub it into the skin to nourish it.
But despite such a large number of useful properties, wood is not widely used in our region. And this is primarily due to the lack of knowledge on how to grow Pecan.
Pecan (Illinois hazel) belongs to unpretentious plants. Perhaps the most important condition for its cultivation will be the correct determination of the landing site. The tree belongs to centenarians, which are characterized by large growth (50-60 meters) and an extensive crown. Therefore, when planting seedlings, this feature must be taken into account.
Pecan can be planted as a seedling purchased from specialized crop farms, or grown independently, since the nut has a good ability to propagate using seeds or vegetatively.
And so, you can get an adult tree on your own using the following propagation methods:
- grow from seeds.
Consider the seed method. Ripe walnut fruits that have fallen off on their own are taken as planting material. They can be planted in both autumn and spring.
Autumn planting is carried out as follows. Holes are prepared in the soil about ten centimeters deep, nuts are planted in them, watered and sprinkled with earth. Shoots appear in spring. It should be noted that planting seeds before winter gives good results, in spring the germination rate reaches almost one hundred percent, and the seedlings are strong and viable.
In order to carry out spring planting, a number of preparatory measures must be taken. Nuts need to be stratified. To do this, they are kept for two days in cool water, and then placed in wet sawdust and left in a cool place for two months, moistening periodically. Then they are brought into the room, and in the spring, in mid-April, they are planted in open ground.
In order for seedlings to grow and develop well, they must be planted in a well-lit place, and the soil must be fertilized with compost before planting.
Pecan grows quite slowly. Therefore, for the first three years, it can not be transplanted to a permanent place, but grown in the same place where the seeds were planted. At the initial stage, seedlings form a root. Therefore, the increase in plant size is negligible. By the age of three, a walnut seedling grows only up to half a meter. Now you can continue growing in a permanent place. Trees are planted in planting pits, the size of which should be at least sixty centimeters in depth and width. In order to achieve neutrality, a little lime and compost are added to the ground for nutrition. Then a walnut tree is carefully planted in the hole, while leveling its roots. Soil is sprinkled on top, compacted a little and watered well. It is recommended to mulch the soil around the seedling with peat. In order for the trees to take root faster and begin to actively grow, they need to be watered and fed regularly.
In spring, the walnut needs nitrogen fertilizers. And in the fall, you need to feed the pecan with phosphorus and potassium. This applies to young trees, and adult specimens that have been growing for more than twenty-five years need to be fed with potassium salt, saltpeter, superphosphate.
Pecan care, in addition to watering and fertilizing, should also include care for its crown. With the onset of spring, it is necessary to carry out sanitary and formative pruning, removing dry and damaged branches.
With proper care, a self-grown walnut from seeds begins to bear fruit no earlier than ten years later.
Early fruiting, at the age of four or five years, can be achieved if Pecans are grown by grafting or budding. But these methods of reproduction require a little more knowledge and skills, so most often gardeners use either the seed method of reproduction or acquire already quite adult seedlings at the age of three to five years.
The walnut has a strong immunity, and it is not afraid of almost any garden pests and diseases. Under favorable growing conditions and sufficient space, this specimen will bear a fairly large number of fruits (an adult tree can produce up to two hundred kilograms of nuts) up to the age of three hundred.