Alabama is prime pecan growing territory, but for the trees to bear large fruit harvests consistently, an annual regimen of fertilizing must be followed. Insufficient lime, nitrogen and zinc in the soil are common problems for pecan trees grown in Alabama. A cocktail of nitrogen fertilizer plus trace nutrients and soil amendments applied in the spring and early summer in a cascade schedule will keep the tree healthy and productive.
Apply a complete and balanced fertilizer formula with a guaranteed analysis of 10-10-10 or 13-13-13 to your pecan tree each March. Apply 4 lbs. of fertilizer for every inch of the trunk diameter, measured 4-1/2 feet up from the ground, up to a maximum application of 25 lbs. of fertilizer per year. Cast the fertilizer evenly around the drip line of the tree, beginning at least 2 feet from the trunk and extending at least 2 feet past the drip line of the canopy. Scratch the fertilizer into the top 2 inches of soil and add 2 to 3 inches of water.
Feed the pecan tree a dose of ammonium nitrate in April and June each year. Apply 1 lb. of ammonium nitrate for every inch of trunk diameter, topping out at 20 lbs. per tree per year. Give half the dose in April and the second half in June. Cast the ammonium to cover the soil twice the size of the tree canopy. Scratch it into the top 1 to 2 inches of soil and water deeply to soak the top 2 to 3 inches of soil.
Cast 1/10 lb. of zinc sulfate for every year of the trees' age up to 2 lbs. of zinc per year in July or August. Cast under the drip line of the tree, nestle into the top 1 to 2 inches of soil and water the soil until soaked 2 to 3 inches down to begin to percolate the zinc down into the soil.
Apply 5 lbs. of dolomitic lime for every year of the trees' age up to a maximum of 100 lbs per tree per year. Again, cast the lime over the root mass of the tree extending beyond the drip line. Work it into the top few inches of soil and water until the soil is drenched 2 to 3 inches down but there is no standing water.