Caring For Your Pecan Tree: A Homeowner's Guide

Pecan trees add beauty to your yard with their springtime flowers, and they add flavor to your meals with their nuts, which ripen in the fall. However, like most nut trees, pecan trees require quite a bit of care if you want them to stay healthy and produce a lot of tasty nuts. Follow these four tips to take better care of your pecan tree:

Have an expert trim it.

It's very important to have dead and damaged branches removed from your pecan tree each year. This will ensure nutrients are not absorbed by the damaged branches to the detriment of the remaining healthy branches. But selecting the best branches to remove is not always easy, and you need to be careful not to remove too much. For these reasons, it's usually best to hire a pro to trim your pecan tree once a year in the late winter.

Apply fertilizer.

The production of nuts requires a lot of resources. If you fertilize your tree and give it more nutrients, it will be able to produce more nuts--and larger nuts, at that. Your best bet is often to use a natural fertilizer like composted manure or mushrooms. Spread it out in a big circle around the tree's trunk. When it rains, the water will wash the nutrients from the compost down into the soil. There are also pre-mixed fertilizer compounds that will work effectively; just make sure you buy one that's formulated for trees.

Add zinc to the soil.

Pecan trees require zinc for maximum nut production. Sadly, many soils are devoid of zinc, and most conventional fertilizers don't contain any zinc. You can find zinc preparations sold at a lot of nurseries. Apply one according to the instructions on the package; you can do this once a year in the late winter when you trim your tree.

Don't let the leaves linger.

There are a number of fungal diseases that can affect a pecan tree, causing it to form spots on its leaves and nuts. The best way to protect your tree from these conditions is to sweep up fall leaves regularly, rather than waiting until the end of the season. The fungi breed in the leaves, so the longer you leave them around the base of your tree, the greater its chance of infection.

To learn more about caring for your backyard pecan tree, reach out to a tree care company in your local area like General Tree Service