Are There Any Dwarf Pecan Trees?
No dwarf pecan tree exists in the United States, as of 2010. A cultivar with a compact growth habit, called Cheyenne, is available. But according to the University of Florida, Cheyenne is not recommended for use in the southern United States where pecan trees grow best.
Pecan trees grow to various heights depending on the variety. Some pecan varieties grow up to 150 feet in height although many grow to just 70 feet. The trunks can reach up to 6 feet in diameter when mature.
When pecan trees are first planted, it seems like a waste of space to plant them 35 to 60 feet apart. But when the trees reach 30 or 40 years of age, they must have 60 feet of space between them. Otherwise, the crowded trees produce reduced nut crops since the trees spend their time fighting for resources such as water and nutrients.
The trees start producing nuts when the tree is at least 5 to 6 years in age. Some pecan varieties do not produce crops until they reach 10 years of age. The trees produce heavy crops in alternating years.
Pecan Tree Care
Most pecan varieties need long a long growing season of 270 to 290 frost-free days to produce a good crop of nuts. They don't tolerate salty soil. Pecan trees grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 through 9. When rainfall is scarce, water pecan trees deeply and thoroughly about ever other week. For each 1 inch of diameter, give the tree 3 or 4 pounds of 13-13-13 fertilizer. Spread it evenly over the root zone. Pecan trees need little pruning other than heading back overly vigorous side branches. Black aphids cause yellow, angular spots on the leaves and premature leaf drop. Narrow-range oil is the usual treatment for aphids, but spraying a mature pecan tree is likely more than you can manage. You can use a long, sturdy pole to strike the branches or a pole with a hook on the end to shake them. Nuts left on the ground become infested with mold and insects, so gather them quickly.
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: The Pecan Tree
- Texas A&M System AgriLife Extension: Home Fruit Production - Pecans
- All About Growing Fruits, Berries & Nuts; Barbara Ferguson, Editor
- Mississippi State University Extension Service: Caring for Pecan Trees in the Landscape
- University of California Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources: Harvesting and Storing Your Home Orchard Nut Crop
- University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program: How to Manage Pests: Pecan
- University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service: Pecan Trees