Monday, May 9, 2011

Kill the grass

    The most important cultural practice you can use to increase pecan tree growth rate is to kill all competing vegetation in a 7 foot circle around young trees. Yes, kill the grass. You can use herbicides or a thick blanket of wood chip mulch. Either way, total vegetation control is the only way to ensure fast growth during the early years of a pecan tree's life.
   In the photo at left, a young tree has a herbicide circle around the tree. Not only does vegetation control increase tree growth it also stimulates early nut production.
    Once pecan trees grow to 8 or 9 inches in trunk diameter, they seem to start dominating the ground cover and herbicide circles become less important to tree growth and nut production.