The Texas State tree, the pecan, is well suited for east Texas – and January is the time to plant! A few pointers:

  • Plant in deep soil – at least 3′ deep sandy loam. Avoid rocky areas and heavy clay. Pecan trees need full sun.
  • Allow adequate room – minimum 30′ to 35′ in all directions. They grow big!
  • Purchase either container grown trees or bareroot trees. Buy from a respected local or Texas source.
  • Good varieties for Smith County include: Desirable, Kiowa, Choctaw, Cape Fear, Caddo and Cheyenne.
  • The best time to plant is when the trees are dormant – so the roots can get established before hot weather. Dig hole only as large as root system and refill with original soil.
  • Keep well watered, but be sure there is drainage underneath – 3 to 4″ mulch on top and about 3′ diameter is ideal.
  • Fertilize lightly first year. Use 21-0-0 (nitrogen) or similar fertilizer – apply one cup per tree in June the first year; April, May and June in succeeding years. Spread on soil away from trunk
  • For best nut production with bearing age trees, add zinc as NZN (zinc nitrate) or zinc sulfate as a spray at intervals during May-July.
  • Consult Extension bulletin B-5001, Home Pecan Production, for further details.

Your rewards will be a beautiful, bountiful, stately tree.

J.T. McKennon, former Smith County Master Gardener
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Posted in Fruits & Nuts