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How to Plant a Pecan Tree


  • When it comes to planting pecan trees, you want to choose a place that is not underneath power lines or structures. Also, plant bare-root pecan trees while they are dormant, which is usually December through March, as this puts the least amount of stress upon the tree and allows proper root development before the spring. You want to make sure your pecan tree stays hydrated, especially before planting; if it looks dry, soak it in water for a few hours to rehydrate it.

  • Pecan trees are grafted tap-rooted trees, meaning your hole could be as deep as three feet and as wide as two feet. You want to plant the tap root below the soil level, leaving it two to three inches out of the ground level. You should be able to see where the tree was planted at the nursery, as there is a color change in the bark color: darker bark was in the ground and lighter bark was out of the ground.

  • With your hole dug, we will want to check out the roots and prune any broken ones or any ones longer than two feet. You can also prune the tap root if it excessively long. Put the tree in the hole to measure depth and if you have the proper depth begin to backfill the hole; you do not need to amend the soil or fertilize. Do not fertilize pecan trees at planting, as it can kill or severely stunt the young trees. Once you have the hole filled three quarters full, fill the remainder with water and let drain to remove air pockets, then finish backfilling. Once level with the ground, level water to settle the soil, adding more as needed. You will not need to put a basin around the pecan tree as the root grows deep to find its water.

  • After planting you will want to prune up to a third of the top of the tree, to compensate for root loss during the digging and transplanting process. You should protect the trunk by painting it with a white latex paint, or you can use a tree collar for the first two years to protect from sunscald. Mulch using three to four inches of traditional mulch or six inches of pine straw.

  • After planting you will want to prune up to a third of the top of the tree, to compensate for root loss during the digging and transplanting process. You should protect the trunk by painting it with a white latex paint, or you can use a tree collar for the first two years to protect from sunscald. Mulch using three to four inches of traditional mulch or six inches of pine straw.

  • When planting it is highly recommended to use Soil Moist Transplant Mix with Minor Elements and Nutr-Pak 1st Year Fertilizer Packs for the 1st year, offered for sale, and nothing else. Soil Moist Transplant mix is to planted at the very bottom of the hole and will cut your watering down by 50% as well as provide beneficial minor elements that your soils may be lacking. Nutri-Pak 1st year fertilizer packs are custom engineered with micro-porous holes to take care of all fertilizing needs the 1st year. Simply bury the pack 1ft awy and 6 inches deep do not puncture or pierce the bag and that is it. Do not broadcast granular fertilize your pecan tree the first year. You can fertilize in the second year using one pound of 10-10-10 fertilizer in March and again in June, but never put the fertilizer within a foot of the trunk. If your pecan tree is not growing at a rate of two to four feet a year, you should apply one pound of ammonium nitrate per caliper inch of the trunk in June or July. For the first three years after planting you should add zinc sulfate at the rate of one pound per year in your March fertilizing routine. After the three-year process your pecan tree will be fully established and set to bear heavy crops of pecan.


  • Planting Guide Pecan Trees