The Importance of Zinc Application For Pecan Trees
If you do nothing else to your pecans trees, water them on a regular basis and apply zinc throughout the early growing season. The easiest way is to apply zinc sulphate beneath your pecan trees, but this might not be the best way. Perhaps the best way to apply zinc is as liquid foliar spray. If you have only a tree or two, or if you have a whole orchard of young, small trees, you can use a small pump-type sprayer. If your pecan trees are larger, and you have a lot of them, a mechanical sprayer will be necessary to do the job sufficiently.
If you can't reach the top of your trees using a pump-type sprayer, standing on the ground, you might have to stand on the tailgate of a pickup truck tailgate. Zinc Sulfate can easily be found at most nursery and garden centers or feed and seed stores. Zinc sulphate dissolves well in water and a small amount goes a long way.
Signs and Symptoms of Zinc Deficiency in Pecan Trees
Pecan trees suffering from Zinc deficiency will display certain symptoms. Leaves that are discolored in the veins, wavy or curling leaves, or long bare branches with just a clump of leaves at the top are all symptoms of zinc deficiency. If the nut kernals are poorly filled or hollow, this too is a sign of zinc defieciency. Applications of zinc, especially in liquid form to the foliage, will insure these symptoms do not occur, and therefore insure a better crop of nuts.
When to Apply Zinc To Pecan Trees
As soon as leaves emerge from dormancy, and are light yellow in color, make your first application of zinc. Zinc has a tendency to burn leaves, so spray your pecan trees in the early morning hours and not during the heat of the day. Follow directions on the package when mixing your zinc solution. Spray foliage of the trees until foliage is wet and starts to drip. Additional zinc applications should be made every two to three weeks for the next two months. If you determine your pecan trees require a pesticide treatment, most pesticides can be mixed into your zinc solution and applied concurrently.
Additional Pecan Tree Growing Tips
- Put zinc applications as your top priority, or the only priority if you do nothing else. Zinc is cheap, easy to apply, and a must if you want your trees to produce an abundance of high-quality pecans
- For best results, water your trees deeply prior to applications of fertilizer. Then, if there is no rain in the next few weeks to come, water lightly on occasion to dissolve the fertilizer. If there is no rain beyond the three week timeframe, resume a normal watering schedule. Beyond the three week timeframe, it will be necessary to resume a regular watering schedule to supply the needed moisture to your tree.
- If you can afford to apply fertilizer at full strength (2 pounds per foot of height), do it.
- If there is not sufficient rainfall, water newly planted pecan trees during the active growth season with 5 to 7gallons of water a week. In the second year up the amount to 10 to 15 gallons per week. In the third year, 15 to 20 gallons a week. From age 4 to 7, 40 to 50 gallons per week, and double that if there is prolonged drought during the Summer months. Water at least every two weeks if there is not sufficient rain.
- A producing pecan tree of 7 years of age and older, can use up to 2,000 gallons of water a week during the hottest months of Summer if there is no rain. If there isn't a free source of water on your property for irrigation, you might want to think twice before starting an orchard!
- Of course, you don't have to water a mature pecan tree to keep it alive, but don't expect a bumper crop of healthy nuts without it.