Question: When is the best time to fertilize my pecan trees?
Answer: First, before broadcasting fertilizer it is recommended to take a soil sample to determine the nutrient needs of the plant. As a good rule of thumb, it is ideal to have your soil analyzed every two years.
The ideal soil pH range for pecan trees is 6.0 to 6.5 based on the standard pH scale. The optimum time to fertilize pecan trees is between late February and early March. Fertilizers should be applied along the drip line area of the tree. The drip line is the area on the ground along the outer edge of the branches.
In general when fertilizing non-baring pecan trees, apply one pound of 10-10-10-fertilizer blend per year age of the tree. For the trees that are producing pecans apply four pounds of 10-10-10 fertilizer blend per inch of the tree trunk’s diameter. Measure the trunk just below the scaffold branches. For example, if the diameter of the pecan tree measured six inches, then you would multiply six by four pounds, in which you would apply 24 pounds of fertilizer. Do not exceed 25 pounds of fertilizer per pecan tree. When applying fertilizer, you can broadcast it by hand, however, to evenly distribute the fertilizer it would be best to use a handheld or push spreader.
Reminder: A new program for 2012 is the “Sampson County Friends of Horticulture.” This program offers monthly “How To” Horticultural Seminars. Please call (910) 592-7161 for more information. Please turn your radio to WCLN 1170AM every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at noon (that’s lunch time) and listen to the Sampson County Ag Minute segment, which is brought to you by the Sampson County Extension Agricultural Agents. Please call the Sampson County Cooperative Extension Center at (910) 592-7161 with your horticultural questions and to register for any upcoming events. Be sure to check out the Ask An Expert Widget at sampson.ces.ncsu.edu for any questions you may have.