Monday, January 05, 2009

What makes pecan trees grow

What makes pecan trees grow
What do pecan trees need for good vigorous growth and heavy yields of nuts? I can answer that with one word, zinc. Zinc controls the size of the rosette in pecan trees. Most tree fertilizers have this soil ingredient. But it is rarely over .05%

Purchase pecan tree fertilizer with a high content of nitrogen and at least 3% zinc. This should be done in early spring, summer and fall. Do not fertilize in winter.

Remember pecan trees need ample chill hours to produce a good crop. A good rule of thumb is to count the number of hours between November 1st and February 15th that are between 32degrees f. and 45degrees F. These hours are cumulative and not continuous. In the Las Cruces, NM area we normally have over 1,000 chill hours.

Here are some varieties that do well in the southwest.

Western Schley - This pecan tree will do best in the arid desert southwest. It is a self pollinator and produces heavy fruit at an early age. It likes arid climates and is also excellent for southern California deserts and higher altitudes. It does well in the colder Texas Panhandle region. It usually ripens in late October and early November.

Burkett - This pecan tree is a medium to large round soft shell nut. It is rich, distinctive flavored kernel. It is a large tree and ripens in late September and through early November. Likes arid climates.

Cheyenne - Is a medium soft shell with an excellent flavor. It produces fruit early in the season - Mid September. Can pollinate other pecan varities. It like southern humid and arid climates including eastd and west regions. It is a semi self fertile.
Mahan - A very large soft shell kernel. This pecan bears heavy at an early age, and is also a good shade tree. It prefers arid warm winter climates. Ripes in Mid November.

Mohawk - Very large soft shell also a heavy bearer when young. It does very well in the Southwest and Southeast regions. It It is a very attractive tree also excellent for the large backyard. Ripens in Late October, early November.

Hardy Pecan - The Hardy Pecan tree, Carya Illinoinensis, is a beautiful, majestic tree that grows to a height of 70 to 100 feet with a spread of 40 to 75 feet. It has low wide spreading branches. The tree provides a bounty of sweet edible fruits and lots of summer shade after reaching maturity. Hardy Pecan trees have moderate water requirements and has a moderate tolerance to salt and alkali soils. This deciduous, hardy, shade tree is ideal for lawns because it does not shed its leaves until late fall and it is practically immune to the attack of insects. It begins to bear nuts in 12-15 years

Don't forget to visit our gardening retail stores located in Las Cruces, NM.

Paul Guzman

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