What’s Happening on the Pecan Farm
- Pollination has occurred and pollen-bearing catkins have grown and fallen.
- Tiny pecan flowers are emerging from the growing tips of the shoots.
- Foliage is growing rapidly and nutlets are very slowly increasing in size.
- We are installing irrigation.
Some people think “pecan season” is only in the fall, but pecans are a year-round, full-time job. In the Spring, it’s crucial that we prepare the budding trees for the growing season. This means we work hard to manage the three elements that are absolutely critical: water, food, and sunlight. We’ve already finished hedging the trees to manage sunlight and spreading fertilizer to “feed” the trees. Now we’re concentrating on managing water.
Right now about half the farm is under irrigation, mostly buried drip. The rest of the farm will be placed under irrigation over the next two or three years. Drip tubing is buried fifteen inches deep placing the water exactly where the trees need it: the root zone. Buried drip is useful because we end up using less water, and there is no unnecessary waste through percolation or evaporation.
In addition to our irrigation, rainfall is still so important to nurturing pecan trees and producing quality pecans. A mature pecan tree, in the peak of summer, uses 150 to 200 gallons of water each day. One inch of rain falling on one acre of land is equivalent to 27,154 gallons. That means one inch of rain will provide a one-week supply of water to a mature pecan tree in the heat of the summer.