By Andy Sherrod, Orchard Manager
As we host our Saturday tours, many visitors to the farm are surprised to learn that we are still actively involved in pecan production during the month of February. Even though harvest is over and new leaves won’t be popping out for another month or so, these cold winter days are perfect for pruning and planting.
Without proper training, young trees will develop narrow branch angles and multiple trunks. On our young trees we completely remove the branches with narrow angles because they are weak and risk splitting off when the trees get older. Young trees with multiple trunks are pruned to a central leader which will support the primary scaffold branches in years to come.
On our mature trees we trim the canopy back with a mechanical tree hedger. We do this to eliminate overcrowding and competition for the available sunlight. For yard trees this is not a feasible practice. It is much better to cut down neighboring trees that crowd your pecan tree. Anything within 50 feet is a competitor.
February is also the ideal month to plant any tree, not just a pecan. Whether you chose bare-root or container-grown, now is the time. There is sufficient time for the soil to settle around the roots before budbreak begins in late March.
Two things you need to remember when planting bare-root trees:
- Never let the roots dry out. Plant your bare-root trees as soon as you get them home.
- Plant the trees at the same depth they grew in the nursery.
Click here for more information about general pecan tree care.