With the spring like weather we had yesterday, I decided to prune a couple of trees and photograph the cuts I made. The first thing you will notice about pruning pecan trees is that every cultivar seems to have it own growth form. So I photo-graphed the pruning of a Jayhawk tree (spreading growth habit) and a Faith tree (upright growth habit).
directive summer pruning has created a fairly well balanced Jayhawk tree that doesn't require a lot of corrective pruning during the dormant season. However, I have two objectives for pruning at this time of year: Remove a lower limb and remove any branches that are obviously heading in the wrong direction. To illustrate my pruning cuts, I've created side-by-side photos that represent "before" (left side photo) and "after" (right side) shots of the same pruning cuts. Hopefully, these photos will help demystify the art of pecan tree pruning.
Don't expect to correct all your trees problems during a single pruning session. The tree will continue to grow and you will need to keep removing lower limbs and pruning limbs growing in wrong directions. Pruning pecan trees is a process that requires patience and a good eye for tree structure. Developing the well-balanced, strong trunk of a mature pecan tree will take years.