By Andy Sherrod, Orchard Manager
When I was growing up in west Texas my buddy, Brian, and I wanted a tree house but mesquite bushes don’t lend themselves well to human habitation so we used the next best thing … Christmas trees. That’s right. Come January we went around our neighborhood gathering up the prickly pines and piled them up into four walls and a roof. Proper placement was critical.
Forty years later I’m still placing trees … 600 of them, to be exact.
This year, we at Royalty Pecan Farm planted 600 pecan trees in February. We filled in all the orchard “skips,” which is what we call vacant spots left from trees that died over the years. We also expanded some of our existing plantings.
February is the perfect month to plant trees because they are still dormant and the harshest part of winter has past. Even though it’s March now there’s still time, but you have to hurry. Spring is inevitable.
Choose a sunny spot. Pecan trees need lots of sun. That means they must be at least 50 feet away from other trees or buildings. It will look odd at first … that little sapling just stuck out there in your yard looking lonely and forgotten. But just like cast-off Christmas trees, proper placement is critical.
Who knew that the Texas state tree and a dried up conifer had anything in common?