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Pecan Planting Guideline

It is always advisable to get the trees in the ground as soon as possible. Should you not be ready to plant immediately the trees can be stored in a cold room at approximately 10ºC until you are ready to plant.

It is important that the trees should be in the ground before the commencement of the growing season.  As soon as the temperatures rise the trees will no longer be in their dormant stage, this condition will negatively affect your planting success.

It is also advisable when storing trees to occasionally check the roots to see if they are still moist, if however you find some to be dry, you can lightly sprinkle water to moisten the roots.



1.Roots should under no circumstances be exposed to sunlight or dry conditions during planting.

2. Important! An irrigation system should be in place before planting:

a) Plant hole: make holes minimum + 1000 mm deep and + 1000 mm wide.

b) It is advisable to fill the plant holes with water before planting.

c) It is important to distinguish between root and stem, and therefore it is advisable to plant the trees a little deeper (25mm), to prevent part of the roots being exposed above the ground (trees will not survive this condition)

d) One can add pine bark and mix it with the topsoil in a 50% ratio and then place it back into the hole

e) We do NOT recommend that any fertiliser or manure is added at planting stage. If nitrogen comes into contact with the roots they will burn and the tree will most likely die. Fertiliser should only be considered once the trees leaf around Dec/Jan.

3. Irrigation: For the first two to three weeks after planting, trees should be watered well two to three times a week; thereafter a proper irrigation scheduling is necessary.

4. After planting, it is advisable to paint your trees with a white water soluble PVA paint, to protect the bark from sunburn.

5. In areas where you can expect heavy frost conditions during planting time, it is advisable to wait until conditions improve before you plant. Frost can cause extensive damage to trees, and in some areas it will be necessary to cover the planted trees, to protect them from severe frost conditions.

We would like to emphasize the following:

  1. Effective watering is necessary (not over watering). Proper irrigation will contribute greatly to your success.
  2. It is advisable to plant trees soon after arrival

We recommend the book “The cultivation of Pecan Nuts”, published by the Agricultural Research Council (ARC).  It covers most aspects of commercial pecan nut production. It can be ordered online on www.arc.agric.za or call them on:

+27 (0)12 427 9700