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More Planting Tips


Select the best site to establish your orchard. More orchards fail due to poor site selection than for any other reason. Site selection includes the following:
  • Climate And Microclimate
  • Soil Type
  • Water Availability
Pecan trees have a love affair with the sun. The more sunshine days you have in a year the more your trees will benefit. Acacia trees are a good indicator of sufficient heat units. Pecan trees don’t do well in a mist belt. Recommended chill units for pecan trees are between 250 and 400 hours below 8C, for maximum production.
A deep well drained sandy loam soil is ideal. Pecan trees do well in alluvial soil on the river banks and in the deep red Kalahari sand found in many of our western irrigation schemes. Pecan trees do not like heavy clay soil, or soil that is brackish and not well drained. Calcareous soils are more difficult to manage due to zinc being tied up by the calcium in the soil. Specific pecan varieties must be selected for these soils and extra care must be taken to manage zinc.
Pecans need a good supply of high quality water. Make sure that your water source is strong enough to sustain the trees at a mature age.
Make sure that layered soil is properly mixed before planting. As a rule all hard pans or obstructive layers should be broken. On layered soil a TLB or excavator can be used to dig planting holes of about 1,8m – 2m deep and 1m – 1.5 m wide. You can backfill the soil into the planting hole after digging and dig or drill a new smaller planting hole, just before planting. This practice is important if you plant on alluvial soil, which has different clay and sand layers that are not visual before digging. Digging large holes will automatically break any hardpan or other obstructive soil layers which may occur. Normal ripping of the subsoil will break a hard pan in the soil but will not mix any sand and clay layers. Lime and phosphate can be incorporated into the big planting holes as required. An excavator is much more effective than a TLB and can dig 5 times as many planting holes in a day.
The most important factor in establishing young pecan trees is to make sure that the roots do not dry out in the planting process. Side roots can be trimmed to stimulate new growth. The taproot can be cut back slightly with a sharp secateurs or a sharp knife. Plant the tree to the right planting depth is very important, planting to deep can be just as fatal as planting to shallow. If the crown of the root is exposed to the sun above the soil level, the tree will die. If the tree is planted to deep, the top side roots will fail to anchor the tree properly and the entire tree may be blown over in a strong wind. There should be good contact between roots and the soil. Loos clumps of soil may result in poor contact and roots drying out. We have had good results, planting with water. For roots to develop well, you need both air (oxygen) and water. Too much water is just as bad as too little water. For best results, trees should be planted as soon as possible after leaving the nursery. .