Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Fertilizing pecan trees in the spring

    Today we made our springtime fertilizer application (photo at right). Every spring, we rent a fertilizer spreader and carpet the entire orchard floor with nitrogen and potassium fertilizers. We applied 150 lbs. /acre urea fertilizer which contains 69 lbs./acre nitrogen. Mixed in with the nitrogen, we applied 100 lbs./acre potash (=60 lbs./acre potassium).  The applied cost of the nitrogen was $27.56/acre and the potassium was $17.75/acre. This spring we invested $45.31/acre in our pecan crop.
    For pecan growers with just a few trees you can calculate your springtime fertilizer needs by measuring the diameter of your trees. Apply 1/2 lb. of urea fertilizer for each inch of trunk diameter. In other words a 10 inch diameter tree should have 5 lbs. of urea spread over the tree's entire rooting zone. When it come to potash, apply 1/3 lb. of fertilizer per inch of trunk diameter.
    Many backyard pecan growers buy their fertilizer in bags containing a 10-10-10 mix of N, P and K. To apply the recommended levels nitrogen, 2.5 lbs. of 10-10-10 should be applied per inch of trunk diameter. Again, the fertilizer should be applied over the entire root zone.