Pecan trees are a member of the Hickory family and are the state tree in Alabama, where it is grown for nut production. The tree is planted during the dormant season of December through March either as bare root or transplanted from a container. Pecan trees develop large root systems and should be planted no closer than 35 feet apart to prevent crowding and damage to the tree. Plant the trees away from driveways, roads and buildings to allow the roots enough room to grow.
Plant the pecan tree in a location that has full sunlight conditions and a well-draining soil. Do not amend the soil with compost or fertilizer at planting time. Wrap the tree trunk with a tree wrap to prevent sun scald until the branches and leaves grow.
Water the newly planted tree with five gallons of water on a weekly basis. Water established pecan trees with 10 to 15 gallons of water on a weekly basis. Choose to water with drip irrigation to maximize the amount of water absorbed by the tree roots.
Fertilize newly planted pecan trees with a 5-10-15 fertilizer in the month of June after a spring planting. After the first year of growth, fertilize the trees with a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer annually in March and June. Do not apply fertilizer in the 12 inch diameter around the trunk, as this can cause root and trunk burn.
Spray insecticide that contains carbaryl onto the trunk in a 2-foot tall ring to prevent pecan weevil problems. Treat the tree in mid-August and again three weeks later.
Place a metal trunk shield around the tree to a height of 5 feet if squirrels are damaging the tree or stealing the nuts. Pull the holding spikes away from the truck each year to prevent the tree from growing into them.