How to Raise Pecan Trees


The pecan tree (Carya illinoinensis ) is native across the southeastern United States. Valued for its commercial nut production, the pecan tree produces a high value crop each year throughout the Southern and Midwestern states. The farms within the state of Florida produce 5 to 10 million dollars annually from the pecan, according to the University of Florida. The tree easily attains a height of 70 feet. To insure adequate pollination and an abundant crop, cross-pollination is required. Nut production does not begin until a tree is around 12 years of age.

Step 1

Plant pecan trees in an area that has been cleared of all trees for at least 10 years. This will reduce the risk of root pathogens afflicting the newly planted pecan orchard. Plant trees from November to February.

Step 2

Locate the planting site on a hilltop if possible. Growing on a hill will help increase air circulation. The planting location should be free of flooding and have well draining soil. Sandy loam is ideal. Plant in a location that offers a soil depth of at least 5 feet. Soil pH should be between 5.5 and 6.5.

Step 3

Space trees 50 to 60 feet apart. Although trees can be spaced closer, they will require thinning as they mature.

Step 4

Dig a hole that is twice as large as the tree's root system at a depth of 3 feet. Plant tree immediately so it does not dry out. Firm soil around the trees root system so no air pockets remain.

Step 5

Water tree thoroughly. Keep the newly planted pecan tree moist. Water at least once per week.

Step 6

Whitewash the trunk of newly planted trees with simple latex white paint. Dilute the paint with 25 percent water. White paint will keep the young tree's bark from splitting.

Step 7

Fertilize newly planted trees in March and again in June using 10-10-10 fertilizer. Apply 1 cup per tree. Water the fertilizer in thoroughly.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • White latex paint
  • Paint brush
  • 10-10-10 fertilizer


  • University of Florida: Pecan Trees
  • Creative Farming: Growing Pecan Trees
  • University of Arkansas: Pecan Production in the Home Garden

Who Can Help

  • Texas Pecan Trees: Growing Pecan Trees -- A Homeowner's Guide to Pecan Tree Care
Keywords: raising pecan trees, pecan tree orchard, pecan tree care, planting pecan trees

About this Author

Kimberly Sharpe is a freelance writer with a diverse background. She has worked as a Web writer for the past four years. She writes extensively for Associated Content where she is both a featured home improvement contributor (with special emphasis on gardening) and a parenting contributor. She also writes for Helium. She has worked professionally in the animal care and gardening fields.