Aging Pecan tree

texasfern(8)March 20, 2012

I have recently been staying with my aged mom due to her breaking her hip.

She has a pecan tree, not sure what kind, that is at least 30 years old.

I would like to rejuvinate the tree, it used to produce wonderful pecans. Nothing has been done beyond trimming and that not very well, for at least 20 years.

Can anyone point me to a website or have info here?

Thanks.

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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Until someone else chimes in I will hazard the usual decline questions because I thought Pecans sere long lived and did not seed until they were at least twenty.

So questions:

Any grading work done lately? New driveway, sewers?

Remove any other trees? Especially another pecan which was fertilizing it?

New subdivision up hill or something that changed the water flow?

Have any regular pruning/topping done?

Talk to ya later and good luck with the family and tree.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 9:33AM
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j0nd03

Also, can you post any pics of the tree and close ups of any suspicious areas?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 9:55AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I was put in charge of restoring a very old grove of Pecans at one time, as part of an historical renovation. After some rudimentary pruning (mostly cleaning up of dead wood and removal of stubs) we applied a 'Pecan special' (for lack of a better name) fertilizer with zinc. Pecans require zinc in greater than average doses. We also applied a 3 inch layer of mulch in a generous swath around all of the trees. That's all.

The response was pretty amazing. A 30 year pecan is not old, and this one should respond to even a little bit of care.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 11:57AM
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texasfern(8)

Thanks for your responses.
I did more research and found the info on the zinc and it just seemed to me it needed pruning.
As far as I know my mother has never fertilized it or anything so I am on a mission!
There has been no building or landscaping done all the years she has lived here, just minimal pruning of trees.
That is all about to change.
As soon as I can remember how to post a picture here I will, I am anxious to see this tree revived.
Thanks and I will be back I am sure.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 1:41PM
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lucky_p

In addition to the zinc requirement, productive nut trees - pecans, in particular - are heavy nitrogen feeders. Proper fertilization may well kick-start this tree back into production. Various Cooperative Extension bulletins will probably give recommended fertilizer application rate - and soil test may be in order. TAMU used to have a good publication - Home Fruit Production - Pecans; try searching for that.

May have had something to do with bringing soil pH up and making nutrients more available, but my dad always swore you could bring an old senescent pecan back into production by sprinkling a box of Red Devil Lye on the soil at the dripline of the tree canopy.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 11:55PM
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jqpublic(7b/8a Wake County NC)

From what I remember, pecans respond vigorously to rainy periods during the growing season. Some sources state 1-2" of rain is best during the growing seasons for Pecans. I believe Texas was under a horrible drought last summer, so I'm sure that lead to the tree not thriving as well. As long as there are no water restrictions I'd recommended watering weekly for peak production. If you just want the tree to live I don't think watering supplementally to natural rain is necessary. A 30 year old tree should have just begun to start producing good crops of pecans, as most naturally growing pecans only start producing nuts at 20 years of age. What do others think?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 1:22AM
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texasfern(8)

I'm glad to say we have had plenty rain with more coming and the old girl is budding like mad!
I still have not been able to leave mom long enough to go get the fertilizers, but looks like I will get a break in the next couple of days for errands.
Thanks everyone so much, this ole tree means alot to me.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 1:58PM
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