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Pecan Management Calendar: May to July

By Will Chaney
Pecan and Specialty Agriculture Systems Senior Research Associate

Posted May 1, 2018

To properly manage a successful pecan orchard, a well-developed plan should be implemented. Planning will help growers and managers be prepared for tasks that will need to be addressed throughout the year. This calendar can be used as a resource to help with planning.

May

Floor Maintenance

If weeds are a problem, an herbicide can be applied to the orchard floor as needed. Continue maintaining orchard floor vegetation by mowing or grazing.

Disease Control

Apply pre-pollination scab spray to susceptible varieties when leaves are about one-half the normal size. After pollination, use the Mesonet scab model (bit.ly/pecan-scab-map) to determine when to apply fungicide to susceptible varieties.

Grafting

Continue grafting. Watch videos on how to graft using the following methods:

Bark graft: noble.org/texas-inlay-graft

Four-flap graft: noble.org/banana-graft

Irrigation

Orchard irrigation will most likely begin this month, depending on rainfall.

Fertilize

If a split application of nitrogen was applied, fertilize trees with remaining fertilizer.

First-year trees

After 6 to 8 inches of growth has developed, fertilize with 1/3 pound of 19-19-19 in a band 18 inches long, 12 inches from the tree. If growth continues, apply 1/3 to 1/2 pound of 46-0-0 every three weeks, not to continue past the middle of July.

Zinc Spray

On mature trees, apply second foliar applications of zinc at the rate of 6 pounds of zinc sulfate (36 percent) per acre. For young trees, continue to apply foliar zinc at a rate of 2 pounds of zinc sulfate (36 percent) per acre in two-week intervals.

Herbicide Spray

Continue spraying your vegetation-free strips as needed.

Pest Control

Continue to monitor for pests.

Casebearer

In the northern half of Oklahoma, set out traps and start monitoring. In the southern half, continue to monitor traps at least three times a week (daily preferred) to determine the first male moth capture. Begin spraying 16 to 20 days after you see the first significant capture.

June

Floor Maintenance

If weeds are a problem, an herbicide can be applied to the orchard floor as needed. Continue maintaining the vegetation by mowing or grazing.

Disease Control

Use the Mesonet scab model (bit.ly/pecan-scab-map) to determine when to apply fungicide to susceptible varieties.

Irrigation

Orchard irrigation will continue this month, depending on rainfall.

Zinc Spray

On mature trees, apply the third and final foliar applications of zinc at the rate of 6 pounds of zinc sulfate (36 percent) per acre. Zinc can be tank-mixed with pecan nut casebearer spray and fungicide if needed to limit trips through the orchard. For young trees, continue to apply foliar zinc at a rate of 2 pounds of zinc sulfate (36 percent) per acre in two-week intervals.

Herbicide Spray

Continue spraying your vegetation-free strips as needed.

Pest Control

Monitor the orchard for pecan nut casebearer and begin spraying 16 to 20 days after you see the first significant capture. Order your pecan weevil traps if you do not already have them. Monitor the orchard for additional pests such as aphids, caterpillars and fall web worm.

Crop Load

Determine crop size by counting the number of clusters per 100 shoots. Crop size is low if less than 40 percent, 40 to 70 percent is good, and more than 70 percent is heavy crop.

July

Floor Maintenance

If weeds are a problem, an herbicide can be applied to the orchard floor as needed. Continue maintaining the vegetation by mowing or grazing.

Disease Control

Use the Mesonet scab model (bit.ly/pecan-scab-map) to determine when to apply fungicide to susceptible varieties.

Zinc Spray

For young trees, apply last foliar zinc at a rate of 2 pounds of zinc sulfate (36 percent) per acre.

Herbicide Spray

Continue spraying your vegetation-free strips as needed.

Pest Control

Continue to monitor the orchard for pests. Scout orchard for aphids and caterpillars. Take note of beneficial insects and do not spray for aphids if the beneficial insect level is sufficient.
Casebearer: Continue monitoring for second-generation pecan nut casebearer.
Hickory Shuckworm: If you have a history of hickory shuckworm, spray at shell hardening.
Weevil: Install weevil circle traps by mid-July.

Leaf Sample

In the first two weeks of July, collect leaf samples for analysis. You will base next year’s fertilization on these samples. Collect samples from each management area and label for easy identification. Watch a how-to video on leaf sampling at noble.org/pecan-leaf-sampling.

Crop Load

When the kernel is halfway to being fully expanded in the water stage, thin excessive fruit load off of trees.

Orchard Maintenance

Observe tree spacing and mark trees for removal if there is greater than 60 percent shade on the orchard floor.

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