How to Plant Pecan Trees Next to a Driveway


Small pecan tree seedlings planted in good locations grow into very large trees. Limbs could reach as far as 50 feet from the trunk, with feeder roots growing beyond that radius. Overhanging limbs laden with a heavy crop of pecans could break, creating hazards for the family vehicles. Feeder roots could extend beneath blacktop or pavement, cracking the driveway's surface. When planting pecan trees, plan for a mature tree 100 feet tall and just as wide, with a trunk 4 feet thick.

Step 1

Mark a planting spot for the pecan 40 to 50 feet from the edge of the driveway. Use the tape measure to guarantee accuracy. Locate the site from 40 to 50 feet away from buildings and away from underground pipes and wiring.

Step 2

Plant bare root nursery trees or transplanted seedling pecans any time between December and March during the plant's dormant cycle. Soak the roots of planting stock in a bucket of water for 3 or more hours before planting.

Step 3

Dig planting holes 3 feet in diameter and a yard deep. Dig a deeper center if the planting site is hard ground. Pecan trees put down deep tap roots -- digging 18 inches deeper in the center of the hole gives trees a better start in tough conditions.

Step 4

Break up the soil in the planting hole and pull out any rocks or roots. Till enough to create a loose fine-textured growing zone for the new tree.

Step 5

Hold the pecan tree at the same height it was planted in the nursery and carefully fill in around the tap root with finely tilled soil. Keep the tap root straight. Spread feeder roots to the side as the hole fills.

Step 6

Water the pecan with at least 5 gallons of water when the hole is half full. The water settles the soil in place and collapses air pockets.

Step 7

Fill the rest of the planting hole with loose soil, being sure to spread feeder roots apart and spaced evenly around the tree. Water again when the hole is filled to settle the upper section of soil against the roots.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't add fertilizer to the soil in the planting hole. Water young pecan trees frequently and don't allow the ground around them to dry out completely. Until well established the trees could succumb to drought without extra care.

Things You'll Need

  • 10-foot tape measure
  • Pecan tree, either seedling or nursery stock
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Transplanting shovel
  • Garden spade


  • Southern Star Pecans: Texas Pecan Trees
  • New Mexico State University Extension: Planting Pecan Trees
  • Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service: Starting Pecan Trees

Who Can Help

  • Texas A&M Extension: Pecan Cultivars
Keywords: pecan trees, plant pecans, transplant pecans

About this Author

James Young began writing as a military journalist in Alaska and combat correspondent in Vietnam. He specializes in electronics, turnery, blacksmithing, outdoor sports, woodcarving, joinery and sailing. Young's articles have been published in "Tai Chi Magazine," "Sonar 4 Ezine," "The Marked Tree," "Stars & Stripes," the "SkinWalker Files" and "Fine Woodworking."