Because the pecan is a strong survivor, the tree will live for years without showing any serious signs of stress other than poorly filled nuts on alternate years. Good looking landscape trees can be managed on almost any soil if hard work, money, and water are not limiting factors. We are now in the home stretch for the 2020 pecan growing season. When all things are right for pecans at a site in Texas, there is no better crop one could choose. I need good pecans. You might not realize what the problem is at first. For a pecan tree older than two years, the leaves are unlikely to be shorter than 12 inches or longer than 20 inches. Fax: (979) 845-0627 |. old that are huge. Broadcast fertilizer on the surface in a circle twice the branch spread of the tree. Some things, however, cannot be controlled, such as the weather. During heavy crop years such as 1995 in Texas, growers have a good chance to see how healthy their trees are. This could be physiological drop, pollination drop, casebearer drop or waterstage drop. Trees affected by anthracnose might prematurely lose their first flush of leaves early on. Verticillium wilt, caused by a fungus, is common in maples and can be diagnosed if the wood is streaked. Make some observations and notes and take samples. That is one thing I like about the nursery. Deciduous trees are trees that lose their leaves at some point during the winter. Early nut production is directly related to the amount of pruning; trees subjected to less pruning will produce earlier than more heavily pruned trees. Map 'Candy' is an extremely precocious and prolific cultivar, ranking #1 in kernel yield in years 1-10 and remaining a top producer in years 11-20. One of the most damaging is pecan scab caused by the fungus Cladosporium caryigenum. The tree can look healthy to the untrained eye until all of the stored food is utilized, then problems become very easy to see. The nut of the pecan tree is prized for its sweet taste and consumed as an out-of-hand snack or utilized in desserts and other dishes. The pecan tree is a Texas native. Young pecan trees which are growing when an early fall freeze occurs can be killed to the ground. These trees have made it through extreme droughts such as the early 1950s where little or no rain occurred for four straight years, yet the pecan survived when other species of large trees died. This problem… Read More Asked July 29, 2013, 3:07 PM EDT. The plants may wilt, and have yellow leaves and stunted growth before dying. As crowding continues limbs continue to die, moving higher and higher each year. Foliage, crop and tree decline can be slow and hard to recognize if you are in the orchard every day. Unfortunately, the failure of only one of these factors can kill the entire program. 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In many areas of Texas there are deep, well drained sandy or high-calcium clay soils which can also support beautiful and productive trees. Many times growers have trees which are in trouble but they cannot see it. However, commercial growers are more likely to compromise some structural development and form t… Check the color. Depending upon the variety and climate, harvesting pecan trees takes place from late September through November. I am concerned about my massive pecan tree - not for the nuts but for the shade it provides my hydrangeas and other shade plants. However, when in combination with other limitations, limb death in the top of the tree or total tree death can occur. Some one suggested putting wood ashes around the drip line. Only 30 percent of the trees’ production potential will be harvested from hedged trees when a three- to five-year hedging cycle is used. On weak trees, the crop is shed by various ways throughout the season. If the tree has some leaves, begin your assessment of buds that never broke. The roots on the pecan tree were awesome, almost longer then the tree/trunk itself. Pecan leaves are typically dark green on the upper side and exhibit a paler green on its underside. If there are any leaves left, they’ll be wilted, curled and brown. From planting, northern pecan trees can start producing in as little as 6 years. The northern pecan tree is monoecious, meaning it has both female and male flowers on the same tree. Under these conditions, it is almost impossible to control Cotton Root Rot. After the late freeze decimated it, I can only see sporadic places where it is leafing out. This is the ideal site for pecans — native, commercial orchards or landscape trees. Mature pecan trees range usually grow to between 70 and 100 feet tall. Diagnosis of common citrus problems, Grape Arbors – New Interest In an Old Tradition, How to Grow the Peanut and 105 Ways of Preparing it for Human Consumption, 2017 Texas Fruit Conference Tentative Program, Equal Opportunity for Educational Programs Statement, Drought Without Irrigation or Other Stress, Green or Black Sticktight Pecans in November, No Late Season Irrigation or Other Stress, Pecans Sprouting (Vivipary) While on The Tree, Rapid Tree Death in August or Early September, Blue, Green and Grey Moss (Lichens) on Limbs or Trunks, No New Root Growth, Too Much or Too Little Water, Root Desiccation or Freeze Damage at Nursery, Leaves With Dark Interveinal Discoloration, Shoots Growing Thick in Bunches, Some Dead, Some Alive, Zinc Deficiency Symptoms with Frequent Sprays and Other Good Conditions, Very Rapid Twisting and Turning Shoots on Young Trees, Very Twisted and Distorted New Shoots on Old Trees, Spring Buds and Leaves Wild and Irregular Shaped, Shoots Growing Thick in Bunches, on Trunk, All Alive, Nuts Shedding With Small Hole at Base of Nut, Nuts Shedding in August During Waterstage, Nuts Shedding in August with Black Shucks and Half Filled Kernel, Vertical Splits in the Bark with Yellow Moist Wood Exposed, Vertical Splits in the Bark and Wood Which Is Dried Out and Grey, Perfect Ring or Rings of Small Holes Around the Trunk, Large Patches of Young Green Bark Missing on New Growth, Pecans on the Ground Wwth Holes Punched in The Shuck or Shell, Dead Limbs or Trees, April to June with Sprouts at Ground Line, Dead Trunk on South or Southwest Side with Ground Suckers in Spring, Limbs Die Suddenly Followed By Regrowth Which Also Dies, Black Spots on Leaves or Leaf Midrib, Black Lesions on Shucks, Brown Dead Tissue Around the Edge of the Leaflet, Sticky Sap or Honeydew Dripping From Shiney Leaves, Black and Yellow Areas on Leaflets in August or September, Leaves Dull Color With Many Small Brown Spots and Defoliation, Young Tree Dead, Small Holes in Trunk with Sawdust Tube Sticking Out, Small Fat White Grub with Red Head in Pecan, Small, 1/8″ Hole in Shell with Kernel Eaten, Small Limbs Drop in Late Summer or Fall with Perfect Circle Cut in Bark, Mass of Dark Grey Caterpillars Eating Foliage, Mass of Thick Grey Webbing Filled with Caterpillars In Late Summer. Trees with frozen trunks will produce healthy shoots from the ground line the next growing season. So a tree producing rotten pecans is a definite disappointment. Apply fertilizer in March on large trees. The good news is that these problems can frequently be corrected with good management if the trees are on good soil. When no irrigation, no zinc, no nitrogen, no weed control, no insect management, no disease prevention are combined with a heavy crop on pecan trees growing on poor soil, death could be expected. Pecan culture in Texas, whether it is commercial, native or landscape can be a very rewarding profession or avocation. The pecan tree is a Texas native. If there are many buds dead, but the branch is alive, then the tree has been suffering for some time. If the landscape soil is excellent and some management could be given, productive varieties with small nut size such as Caddo, Candy, Osage and Prilop could be planted. If growing conditions are ideal in the fall, pecan sap remains active. Diagnosing trees not leafing out is not an easy task and one that follows a process of elimination. Check for Pecan-nut Casebearer. Hopefully, at this point, you have done what was required to grow and protect a good crop. Check for Pecan-nut Casebearer. 'Candy' trees are extremely attractive, leafing out quickly in the spring and producing a very full and lush canopy. It is best to remove trees immediately after a heavy crop. Some growers are lightly shaking their tree trunks on overcropped trees during the waterstage to reduce the crop size and prevent stress. If you cut into the bud and it is brown and dead, it is an indication that it has been dead quite a long time. In Texas, the problem occurs mainly in the southern counties, near Mexico where similar conditions exist. A very large crop of pecans on mismanaged trees is a major problem. Pecan trees produce new leaves later than most other nut, fruit or ornamental trees. Planting improved grafted varieties on poor soil is the most common reason pecan trees die in Texas. A tree with no leaves can be attributed to bud issues. You can also check the branches to see if they are still alive. All the leaves are disappearing from the branches. This could occur again in 1996 because of the extremely heavy crop in 1995 combined with the very dry conditions of the 1995 growing season. The Texas A&M System is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Veterans/Disability Employer committed to diversity. If a freeze occurs, it can kill the live wood, bark and cambium tissue. Can you please help? One pecan tree is not leafing out, but you know pecan trees, they are the last ones to leaf out, I notice very little growth on the buds, so I think in a week or two it will leaf out. However, trees on poor soil without irrigation will be difficult to manage for a profit. All too frequently, the pecan is planted in anticipation of a large beautiful tree with heavy bearing. Like many Texas native plants, it is a hardy, drought-tolerant, easy to care for plant. Rapid tree death in late summer or early fall with no shoots developing from the tree crown is the most common symptom. There are two common species of phylloxera that infect the leaves. At first, the fungus forms small, circular, olive-green to black spots on leaves, leaf petioles and outer nut shuck. I have a 3 year old Pecan tree. Many destroy the foliage or the fruit; however, Cotton Root Rot kills the tree. Good management is difficult and expensive but it can bring pecan trees back into profitable production if water is available and if the trees are on good soil. George Ray McEachern Proper irrigation will sometimes help promote health in a tree that is suffering stress. But just because a pecan tree can take lots of stress does not mean that you cannot kill it. I’ve had a number of calls recently on newly planted trees either not leafing out just yet or the new shoots and leaves scorching. Trees not leafing out? Pecan Cultivar Recommendations for the Southeast – 2014-15 Update. That’s how commercial growers get their rootstocks, and it’s also how new and different pecan varieties are discovered. Extension Horticulturist 11. Today’s pecan growers push their trees far beyond the natural limits of production of native pecans. Usually it is a combination of factors. Native pecan trees have been in Texas for a very long time with nature to manage their success. This is a symptom of cold injury from sudden cold temperatures, as during last December. 77843 | This is a vital clue in identifying pecan leaves. This is a major cause of tree death in Mexico where a combination of high soil pH, high soil temperature and poor drainage occur. There are a few low yield varieties such as Jackson, Elliot, Vogt, Schley, and others which do not produce yields high enough to be of commercial value, but make excellent landscape trees. When man decided to select, propagate and plant orchards with larger nut size and heavier fruiting, the natural limits of the pecan were exceeded and man’s management became essential, otherwise the trees stress and die. Its normal for a … You won't find "fine twigs" on a pecan. You really have to work the leaves into the design, plan on each leaf representing a whole branch with foliage. This is followed by alternate bearing and death of shaded limbs. College Station, There are still a few things left to consider as we move into September in order to get the most out of your trees. Deer depend on not just leaves and fruits for their nutritional needs, but also bark of trees, hence their penchant for pecan trees. These trees, especially fruit trees, require a period of dormancy brought about by colder temperatures in order to thrive. If you forgot to soak the roots before planting or didn’t water the tree enough after the fact, the roots are probably dry and damaged. Anytime you have a newly planted tree that is struggling to leaf out, the proper thing to do is to cut it back more. The most common symptom of overcropping is poorly filled kernels. 3. The type and amount of training and pruning that should be used can be determined, to a considerable extent, by the ultimate use of the tree. Late April is the ideal time to prune, which is after the leaves have sprouted, and means that the tree can immediately begin the healing process required to grow. 12. Good root growth occurs when the soil is 50 percent particles, 25 percent air and 25 percent water. Taking up grass and other vegetation around the tree also helps to reduce the competition for nutrients and is a profitable practice for keeping trees vital. Apply half ammonium nitrate in April, half in June. However, many soils are too shallow and simply do not provide enough space or volume for the massive root system needed. Commercially grown pecan trees are typically grafted and sold as bareroot trees. The problem could be due to stress or a root problem. Like many Texas native plants, it is a hardy, drought-tolerant, easy to care for plant. If you’ve waited the obligatory six weeks after planting and your tree looks as bare as ever, here’s what could be going on. Lesions crack as the leaves … Horticulture/Forest Science Building | Deer, particularly the male deer, are in the habit of rubbing their antler on the trunks of trees. The material presented here is not intended to discourage anyone who wants to grow pecans, but rather to help the grower who could be having problems. Shop by Quality - Type 1 - … Once the pecans are fully mature, they drop out of the husks and to the ground. Reasons Why Your Bare Root Tree Is Not Leafing Out or Growing. Again, professional help should always be sought for larger trees. The most difficult cultural practice pecan growers must accomplish is tree removal when crowding occurs. Commercial orchards should never be planted on shallow or poorly drained clay soils; however, beautiful landscape trees can be maintained, especially if they are natives or seedlings which are not grafted. Dehydration is a huge issue for bare root trees. Because there’s an increase in acreages of Pecans, Texas state tree is now facing major problems with diseases, weeds, and pests. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Office for help with diagnosis and treatment for deciduous tree leafing problems. Unfortunately, there are times when this dream does not becomes a reality. One must always remember that small native nut size, alternate bearing, low yield and many other characteristics of native pecan production are a vital part of pecan survival in Texas and should be considered good. You can break the web with a strong blast of water. Unfortunately, there are no controls for this problem. I’ve had a number of calls recently on newly planted trees either not leafing out just yet or the new shoots and leaves scorching. This problem is most prominent where a … old that are huge. Death comes fast in late summer with all the leaves turning brown and remaining on the tree. Consequently, it is good to have other growers, county Extension agents, or pecan specialists look at the trees to see if problems exist. Old standard varieties, Stuart and Western, are the highest planted varieties in the industry because they tolerate stress and are easy to manage. Then bring them into a Master Gardener at your local county office of the OSU Extension Service. Look to Sumac for examples of a tree with compound leaves and coarse twigs being used for bonsai. Eventually the trees will stop bearing altogether, but can remain alive. But just because a pecan tree can take lots of stress does not mean that you cannot kill it. Did your tree leaf out then all the leaves wilt? Statuesque and stately pecan trees begin to shed their nuts in the fall, prior to leaf drop. When the pecan soil is dry the tree will survive by shedding the crop and making very little growth; however, when the soil is too wet, the tree roots will die and this can result in tree death. The leaves turn black and the nut will not fill out good and fall off early. Pretty soon it will be all bare. 10. Some trees, like fruit trees, fail to leaf out simply because they did properly chill over the winter. If pecan trees sustain sporadic outbreaks of zonate leaf spot, wild hosts such as hackberry, maple, poison oak, sassafras, Virginia creeper and other vines should be eradicated. The nuts mature around mid-October and are highly nutritious. The pecan husks must at least be cracking open, but yes, if you want to climb the tree and remove those that appear ready, by all means do so. But it’s not over quite yet. Commercial orchards, which require a profit, need good management plus well drained soil, wide tree spacing, weekly irrigation, weed control, foliar zinc sprays, nitrogen fertilization, insect control and disease prevention. A grafted tree, in a five gallon pot such as the trees offered by Perfect Plants Nursery, will start producing pecans in 3-5 years. Spring and tree disease go hand in hand, and anthracnose is a disease that can hinder leaf growth on trees like ash, maple, oak or sycamore. The best way to get a tree to grow leaves is to practice proper care and maintenance. It has a distinctive rich flavor and is high in fat. Suspect disease when there are no buds at all. Good soil drainage is essential for good soil aeration and sub-sequential root growth with normal water and mineral absorption. Orchards with the best varieties have a high profit potential, but pecan growing is a high risk business even with the best of management. The final stage of crowding is no production or production only in the very top of the tree. For example, mature pecan trees require over 2,000 gallons of water per week, and this volume needs to be held by only 25 percent of the soil space. But once the leaves start to bud, they provide a strong indication that flowers will soon follow, followed by green fruits that ripen into tasty nuts. Deciduous tree leafing problems are common and can evoke anxiety in homeowners who become fearful that their favorite trees will not recover. Read more articles about General Tree Care. When soils are very shallow or very tight clay, very special management will be needed. This has very serious plant physiological consequences; low root zone oxygen results in death to small roots, reduced active transport of minerals and water into the roots, reduced hormone production by the root tips, and increased salt toxicity. The pecan nuts may be eaten raw, sweetened, or salted and are widely used in pastries and with chocolate. This natural vigor control via zinc unavailability plays an important role in long term native tree survival. TIFFG – Collecting and Storing Graft Wood. @Irene Take the tree down, not only foundation problems but pecan trees are very soft and limbs break as the wind blows, I have about 60 trees and a good storm leaves limbs all over the grown plus the tree itself could come down being that close to your house and I have trees that a probably over a 100yrs. It is very difficult for pecan trees to absorb zinc from the soil; consequently, native trees do not make vigorous growth once they are mature and begin bearing. A pecan tree can live with little or no care in much of Texas; however, if it is expected to look good as a landscape tree or if it is expected to produce high quality pecans every year, the pecan is a very high management crop. The pecan is uniquely adapted to the hot, dry, windy Texas climate because it can tolerate stress. The solution to tree crowding is tree removal the year the lower limbs touch. Freeze damage usually occurs on the south or southwest side of the trunk next to the ground line. However, once the problem or group of problems is identified, the grower can go about correcting the problem. If pecans are stressed in the fall, they will not set a large crop the following year, and the tree will survive on food stored in the trees’ massive limb, trunk and root system. Time, money, orchard size, labor, equipment, knowledge, bad luck, personal problems or many other limitations can cause pecan growers to let management slide for a year or two. If the problem cannot be solved, the grower at least knows what to expect and has the option of abandoning or destroying the trees. 13. Pecans are commonly grown all over Texas, for both commercial purposes and in private yards. How to get a tree to grow leaves is not a simple task and is typically dependent on the reason behind the leafing out problem. The pecan does not have an obligatory rest period such as apple or peach does, and it does not become dormant in the fall unless the weather is very cool. Should you decide to use insecticide for any of these problems, please check with your local county extension office to confirm spray dates. Cutting through the bark with a knife can expose brown, freeze-damaged tissue soon after it occurs. Need help choosing the right pecan tree?Below are some helpful links for selecting the best pecan tree. If the bud is brown on the inside but still green on the outside, the damage is probably due to cold damage. Something is eating my Young Pecan Tree. Backyard growers may be willing to sacrifice some early nut production in order to have an aesthetically well-shaped tree. There are many disease which are serious problems for Texas pecan growers. New leaves appear on pecan trees in late spring. Problems are slow to become obvious because pecans store food reserves in limbs, trunk and roots. The lifespan of a pecan tree can be up to 300 years! A pecan trees leaves are dark green on one side and a lighter green on the underside, also rather than one flat leaf they have multiple leaves grouped together along a stem. There is no cure once the plants have been poisoned. Moisture loss. The tree is healthy. The best nut production, however, is ensured when more than one pecan variety is planted. Following a regular watering, feeding and pruning schedule will ensure that trees remain as healthy as possible. While two consecutive rainy seasons with much higher than normal incidence of scab have made it difficult for growers, the increased scab has provided an opportunity for better evaluation of pecan selections for resistance to this devastating disease. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! It is best to do a thorough investigation before jumping to any conclusions regarding the lack of growth. Phone: (979) 845-5341 | To prevent this kind of nut drop, fertilize pecan trees in mid to late February with a 10-10-10 fertilizer containing 2 percent zinc. With time the lesions increase in size and become blackened and sunken in appearance. A pecan tree is a deciduous tree of the hickory species, which was originally native to Mexico but is now present across most of the world, including Europe, Africa and Asia. One disease, in particular, is especially damaging to the nut, while … With total neglect and poor soil, the trees can eventually die. Not leaves on a branch, just the leaves. When pecan problems occur the cause is frequently not easy to identify. In the future, varieties may become the standard because of management ease. 2134 TAMU | Anytime you have a newly planted tree that is struggling to leaf out, the proper thing to do is to cut it back more. Growers do their best in taking care of their trees, but occasionally the trees have problems and die. Shiny leaves indicate there may be a problem with Aphids. Table 1. The damage from each of these insects is nearly indistinguishable. It should have a greenish hue – this is living tissue. The shedding of pecans is an important natural stress management tool which contributes to the long survival of pecan trees. If you have trees that have not leafed out, it is always best to seek the guidance of an expert before making any decisions on treatment. Landscape trees usually receive very little management; therefore, native or seedling trees are the best choice. @Irene Take the tree down, not only foundation problems but pecan trees are very soft and limbs break as the wind blows, I have about 60 trees and a good storm leaves limbs all over the grown plus the tree itself could come down being that close to your house and I have trees that a probably over a 100yrs. A tree with no leaves when spring comes indicates a tree in some degree of distress. The pecan is native to Texas, it is the official state tree, it can be grown in every area of the state and it is a part of Texas tradition. [1] Some growers attempt to maintain production via mechanically hedging the trees with large saws, however, this only prolongs the problem. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Because there’s an increase in acreages of Pecans, Texas state tree is now facing major problems with diseases, weeds, and pests. Bearing trees which are stressed are freeze-susceptible. This problem is most prominent where a grower has planted a large diameter 10-12′ tree. This is not an easy task. Characteristics of common Texas citrus varieties. If you cut into the bud and it is brown and dead, it is an indication that it has been dead quite a long time. It must be something that comes at night because I never see anything during the day. Before the nuts begin to drop, they look nothing … The growth and development of healthy pecan trees depends on healthy roots. If the bud is brown on the inside but still green on the outside, the damage is probably due to cold damage. The trees are a soft shell variety. They do this to mark their territory, and to keep intruders out. Also, many alluvial river bottom soils have good depth, good internal drainage and a very high water holding capacity which are additional reasons native trees are good survivors. If you find dark green or even black spots on the young leaves of the tree, then this could be your problem. If a grafted variety is essential, disease-resistant varietes with small nuts and moderate production would be the best choice. It’s not just planting under the trees that can be a problem. In autumn or the fall, the leaves turn a showy yellow shade. A large number of mature pecan trees died in Texas in 1988, 1989 and 1990. Even with these precautions trees normally do not give a hundred percent yield. Pecan, nut and tree of the walnut family (Juglandaceae), native to temperate North America. The larvae’s on my pecan tree are falling off. Avoid Planting Near a Pecan or Walnut Tree. Pecans are commonly grown all over Texas, for both commercial purposes and in private yards. When poor soil drainage occurs there is limited oxygen in the active root zone. Pecan scab is caused by the fungus Cladosporium caryigenum. Other trees have started to leaf out, even the crape mrytles. TX Pruning out low tree branches will increase the air flow and permit better penetration of … It is very difficult for pecan trees to absorb zinc from the soil; consequently, … Along the 10,000 miles of rivers and streams in Texas there are many very large pecan trees which are living testimony of their tremendous survival potential. The winter of 1995-96 will be an excellent time to remove trees because the 1996 crop is going to be very low in Texas. Anytime you have a newly planted tree that is struggling to leaf out, the proper thing to do is to cut it back more. Check out our BARE ROOT PECANS. Table 2. Look for wet tissue beneath the bark layer that is scratched back. Of course, you CAN grow a pecan tree from pecan nut. A large number of pests and diseases can afflict the pecan tree, causing a significant reduction in the quality of the nut. If the tree has some leaves, begin your assessment of buds that never broke. Should you decide to use insecticide for any of these problems, please check with your local county extension office to confirm spray dates. The Pecan Leaf Phylloxera seems to prefer young trees and the Southern Pecan Leaf Phylloxera prefers older trees. I tried the Neeman oil but no luck. Not finding the variety you want? Shop by State Find your state and shop by pecan recommendations from your local Agricultural Extension Agent. Poor soil, tree crowding, weed control, irrigation, zinc foliar sprays, nitrogen fertilization, insect control and disease prevention become very important during high crop years such as 1993 and 1995. Shade from tree crowding reduces the total photosynthesis and with less food the tree will be less healthy. Sign up for our newsletter. Signs of trouble can be many. Look for disease symptoms on a tree that’s not leafing out. Many things can kill a mature bearing pecan tree. If a major freeze occurs in the winter, especially early winter, tree death could occur. Varieties such as Wichita, Barton and Mahan are very freeze-susceptible. With your thumbnail or knife, lightly scratch a small spot into the bark of the tree’s trunk (in a location about halfway up the tree). There is little else you can do but seek advice on fungicide, as the pecan scab will spread to the fruits unless you eradicate it. There are millions of trees which produce good crops and reward the owners with a lifetime of satisfaction, pride, beauty and profits. Native pecan trees grow beautifully along rivers and streams in Texas because of water availability, good soil depth and good internal soil drainage. This disease causes black spots on both the fungus and the nut husks of the pecan. The first stage of crowding is low percent kernel. A pecan tree is a deciduous tree of the hickory species, which was originally native to Mexico but is now present across most of the world, including Europe, Africa and Asia. The fungus can be identified with a microscope. Early is a relative term. Texas A&M University. Saturated soil also is an ideal environment for the development of many soil root rot diseases. Once trees are thinned, as many as six years may be required for the trees to come back into production. They have a dark spot about 1/8 from the base of the leaf… This is why nitrogen fertilizer is never applied to young trees after the month of June. You can compare pecan variety types here. There is a misconception that pecan trees should be pruned in the middle of winter, but this just leaves the gouges you make in the tree exposed to the harsh winter elements. by Bill Goff. Fertilize according to soil and leaf sample recommendations. Irrigation will need to be weekly and zinc and nitrogen needs to be applied in very small but frequent applications. For young trees, fertilize in March with 13-13-13, lime and zinc. 2. This fact leads to the question of whether it is okay to harvest pecans early. Damage from these insects is usually not severe and merely an aesthetic issue. The leaves fall off at the base of the stem.