– [John White] Welcome to Southwest Yard & Garden. I’m John White. Today we’re going to be talking about pecans. Pecans are one of the most popular trees in the southern part of the state. They’re grown in large orchards. They’re grown in small
orchards around home and also as single trees in a home. One of the peculiar facts of pecans is that it requires a special micronutrient, and that’s zinc. Zinc has to be put on as a foliar spray. If you try and put it on the
ground, it ties up in the ground, and then the tree just doesn’t
have a real good ability to pick up the zinc out of the soil. So we do have to put it on the leaves. The leaves are the
manufacturing point of the tree. Kind of like a little plant here. It takes sunlight and photosynthesizes and makes food energy for the plant. And what we wanna do with the zinc, is with adequate zinc we have large leaves that are much wider, much longer, dark green in color. If the tree is lacking in zinc then we end up with small
leaves that are kind of curvy, not real good color in it and just the general
photosynthesis process without the zinc is not as strong. So for a good crop of pecans
and a good healthy tree, we wanna make sure we have
adequate zinc levels in the tree. And this requires, usually,
repeated sprays of zinc on the foliage of the
tree in order to get it to absorb into the leaf so
that the tree can use it. So if we can keep the tree leaves healthy and give them good color, we’re gonna have a good
crop of pecans on the tree. Because there’s a certain number of pecans or pecan leaves that actually help to tend and take care of each cluster of pecans. So the more leaves that
you can put on a tree, the more pecans you’re
gonna have on a tree. Here we’ve added our zinc
product to the sprayer bottle, and what we’re gonna be using
is a product called, NZN. That’s just “N” for nitrogen
and the “ZN” for zinc. Those are the chemical
symbols for those products. But this is a pretty
handy to use material, doesn’t take a rocket scientist to use it, a homeowner can mix it very easily, just follow the label directions. But the NZN is a liquid material. So, you can put it in a hose-on sprayer and use the material very easily. So, it doesn’t require any
real concentrated mixing. So it’s all ready to go. This particular type of sprayer I like a lot. There are different
types that can be used. But this one gives a homeowner
a lot of flexibility. It’s pretty easy to use. You just fill the product
directly into the container. You do not need to mix it with water because this unit will do
the mixing on it’s own. Here’s the container with
the mix on it already. You can see the dial on the top, it already has the numbers on the top. We wanna match this number with
the little ball right here. So it’s putting out two
tablespoons per gallon. We have the deflector tip on it. This one is pointing down so it’ll spray on the topside of the
leaf when you’re spraying. Or you can turn it this way and it’ll give you a spray upwards so you can spray the
underside of the leaves. Or you can take the tip off all together and have a strong stream
that’ll get you the height for the top part of the tree. It does have an anti-siphon device on it that helps to protect for pulling chemical down into your drinking water. So this will help protect it, should there be a loss in pressure. But again, this is a good product. It’ll give you lots of use
and lots of versatility. As far as frequency of spraying, we’re gonna be spraying a
pecan tree at bud break. And bud break is when the buds
first break in the spring. We’d be looking at, probably,
around the first part of April, and then spraying on a two week schedule. On young trees we wanna
spray every two weeks up to the first of August. On older, maturing trees or trees that are baring pecans on them, we wanna start at bud break and then spray every two weeks up to
about the first of June. So we’re gonna be looking at four sprays. And these are real critical sprays. Because as the tree develops, it puts growth on. and then as the cluster or the nutlets begin to
form, terminal growth stops. So as it puts on a new
set of leaves each time, we wanna get zinc put on those because it doesn’t translocate as easily and that’s why we need
to put foliar zinc on. So we’re gonna be spraying
on a two week schedule which is real important. So if you haven’t started yet, you need to get some zinc put on. You may not be able to all four sprays on, but you do need to get started with it, so that, at least you get a
little bit of zinc started in it. So let me step back and we’ll
show you how to spray a tree. Okay, we again wanna spray both
the top and the bottom part. We wanna get all the way around the tree. So we’ll get the lower branches first. We’ll take the tip off. And then, even though this
is a fairly course spray, we still are trying to hit all the limbs because we wanna get all the limbs wet because the zinc will be absorbed through those bare branches. Now the zinc material is a
fertilizer, it’s not a pesticide. So as far as getting
some of the zinc on you, it could cause some skin irritations because it is a fertilizer. So if you’re actually gonna get a lot of the material on you, you should be wearing a longer
sleeve shirt or a blouse. But as far as breathing in the material, it won’t hurt anything. As far as time of day to spray this, you really should be
spraying in the early morning or late in the evening. The heat of the day, you end
up losing a lot of your water due to just evaporation off the limbs. So the leaves are actually
more open and accepting of the zinc material at night
and in the early morning, cool parts of the day. So we like to get that done. If your tree happens to be pollinating where it has some of
the male flowers on it, don’t worry about it,
zinc doesn’t hurt that. It actually helps to maybe
displace some of the pollen, so that, you get a good job of
helping to pollinate the tree. The other nutrient that we
wanna talk about is nitrogen. And on a pecan tree, nitrogen needs to be put out around the drip line of the tree. So we’re not putting it up
against the trunk of the tree. We don’t wanna water and we
don’t wanna put fertilizer up against the trunk of any
tree, whether it’s pecan or not. We wanna put the fertilizer
out under the drip line of the tree and maybe even a little bit beyond it. So this whole area out
here really needs to be where the nitrogen’s put on. We like to put nitrogen
on at the rate of roughly a quarter of a pound of actual nitrogen per inch of trunk diameter. So if this tree is six to
eight inches in diameter, we wanna put two pounds of actual nitrogen down for this tree. And if we’re using a 20% nitrogen material, that’s gonna be putting
somewhere in the neighborhood of about ten pounds of a
20% nitrogen fertilizer out over the drip line area of this tree. And that’ll be the fertilizer needs for this particular year. Now next year, you’re
gonna have to come in, if the tree has grown a
little bit more in size. Again, you’re gonna have to measure it and you may have to add a little bit more. But this is what the annual requirement on a pecan of this size is gonna be. Again, we do not put zinc on
the ground because it’s not absorbed by the roots
very well on a pecan tree. But the nitrogen is very soluble and it’s picked up and utilized
by the tree very quickly. So nitrogen is definitely an
element that pecan trees need and needs to be put on. As far as the little
wells around the tree, again, we do not wanna put a lot of water or fertilizer in those wells. Water and fertilizer again,
needs to be away from the tree. These little scalloped areas, you see a lot of time used
in home yard situations, they help to keep the grass back. But we don’t wanna plant anything. Don’t put any annual flowers in here because the excess moisture can
actually create some damages to the trunk of trees. So we don’t wanna put a lot of
little annual flowers in here and we don’t wanna be
watering and fertilizing. So, hopefully some of the tips
we’ve given you today will help you have a much more
bountiful pecan harvest and have a much prettier pecan tree. (mid-tempo music)