Acorns are nut like seeds that grow into beautiful oak trees and are a favorite food for squirrels, deer, birds and more. They can also be a nuisance if you have oak trees that drop them onto your property. They can especially be a bother in they are left to sit on concrete because they can cause staining.
You may want to harvest acorns in order to plant new trees or to use them as feed for deer. A common strategy among hunters who hunt on private property is to leave food out for deer so their paths can be more easily pinpointed. Collecting acorns yourself and relocating them to your hunting spot is a good way to put them to good use and save a little money on deer feed sold in stores. No matter your reason, picking them up is made quick and easy with Acorn Bag-A-Nut Harvesters.
Most acorns become mature by the end of summer and start to fall at the beginning of autumn, usually around September or October. Which harvester you need will depend on the size of the actual acorns. If your acorns are between ¼” to 1” inch in diameter, check out our Small Acorn Harvester options. If they are over 1” inch in diameter, you'll need our Large Acorn Harvester options. You'll have 5 choices within each of these categories. If you only have a few trees, the Stab-A-Nut Harvester is perfect. For properties with more trees you can choose from the 12" Classic Flip-Up, 18" Push, 36" Push or the 36" Pull Behind Acorn Pickers. The process of collecting your acorns can be fast, efficient, and even fun!
Scroll to the bottom for some other great articles about what the professionals say about irrigating pecan trees.
Pecan trees NEED Water!
Well, the truth is that pecan trees can do ok without irrigation, but if you want the most out of your trees you need to get water to them.
If you look to the professional on this issue your going to see them preaching that water is the single most important environmental factor when it comes to producing quality pecans, and I can tell you from my experience that it’s going to make a huge difference in the health of your trees!
For example, take a look at these two trees on my farm.
Both of these trees are the same age and variety and we got them from the same nursery. The pecan tree in the top photo isn’t irrigated, and it's not an impressive tree especially not for being six years old. This second tree is irrigated, and look at the difference. This is a great looking tree. Its got a good solid trunk on it and it flushes out with new growth every year like it’s supposed too. I suspect we will be getting nuts from it very soon. Again remember, both of these trees are of the same age and variety the difference maker here is the water.
How you get water to your trees can become a rather lengthy conversation. If you’re looking to grow pecans for your lively hood you need to get a professional involved. At peak demands, a producing pecan orchard can require over 4,000 gallons of water per acre per day, and you don’t get that done just by stretching out a couple of garden hoses from the back of your house!
I suspect that most of you out there are probably going to land in the hobby orchard category and you're probably going to water your trees by tying into the well that services your home or perhaps by dropping a pump into a pond on your property.
If that’s you, I think you might enjoy seeing what we did to water our trees.
At our place, we already had a well-installed so we just needed to get the water out to the trees and a way to control when it went to them.
We figured that there is no sense reinventing the wheel here so we used a good old fashioned set of solenoids and a control panel to set the watering schedule.
To get the water to the trees we rented a trencher and buried some schedule 40 PVC 18” in the ground. If you are doing your own, make sure you get below the frost line in your area and that you are deep enough for vehicles to roll over your pipes. In most cases when your pipe is less than 2”, going 18” or deeper will get it done.
When it comes to the point where the water actually leaves the pipes to get to the trees there are a lot of options out there ranging from pop up heads to drip emitters and they all have their pros and cons.
At our place, we have a sort of unorthodox system. Our main trunk line and circuits are schedule 40 PVC, but at each tree, we come off of the PVC pipe with a ¼” vinyl tube. Normally at the end of these vinyl tubes, people would put a drip emitter or a soaker hose, but what I do is just leave it open. I’ve found that I get good results by just flooding the area around the tree, and don’t have to deal with all that maintenance that typically goes with pop up heads or drip emitters.
Now I know its debatable but this system has been working for me for years and it has a lot of advantages. The water goes right to the trees so I don’t have losses due to evaporation, I’m not wetting the leaves on my trees and creating an extra opportunity for scab to grow, my whole system is underground so I can mow over it and I don’t worry about it freezing, and the biggest thing is that I spend very little time on maintenance.
It's like I always tell you. If you are going to tackle this stuff make sure you take time and make a plan. If you don’t have a head for pumps, solenoids, pressure loss, and volume calculations then you need to get some help on this one. Call your uncle that knows everything about anything or maybe one of your neighbors.
SCROLL DOWN FOR LINKS- Articles from the pro's about pruning
Keeping your pecan trees pruned and trimmed is extremely important for how they will grow in the future. You might be intimidated at first, but Bag-A-Nut's President, Silas Dudley, makes learning how simple. It just takes some knowledge and practice. He's been able to practice a lot at the Bag-A-Nut testing orchard where he tends to his many young pecan trees.
The first key piece of information is when to prune your trees. Silas explains, "It's winter time, the trees are dormant, all that nutrition is down at the roots..." so it's time to prune. These colder months are the best time to prune because the nutrients aren't moving through the cambium. There are also no leaves so it's easier to see where you need to trim.
You'll need to trim for a "central leader". This is the stronger, healthier shape that can handle shaking and heavy loads better due to the angles being wider than what naturally happens in most varieties. Sometimes it's difficult to decide which limb will be your central leader, but just make your best guess. Take your time and size up the tree. Look around at the scaffold branches, which are the horizontal branches that go out to the side. You're looking for open angles. You don't want any narrow or tight angles because that makes for a weaker tree. Start thinking about keeping the lateral branches up higher to allow access under the trees with equipment. You don't want to be mowing the grass and catch your head on low limbs or hit them with your tractor.
Once you've decided which limbs to trim, make sure you cut as close as possible. You don't want a stub sticking out because this could cause water and insects to collect which could lead to rotting. In general, try to stagger the lateral limbs around the central leader about every 18".
If you notice limbs towards the top of your tree that won't compete with your central leader, you can give them a chance and see if they'll become good lateral branches. If they don't you can always trim them the following season.
Next, you're going to shape the central leader to grow the way you want. Locate a nice bud on the top of the central leader and snip right above it. Knock off any secondary and tertiary buds on the top three buds of that same branch. This gives one of the buds a chance to become the new central leader. As you move further down, knock off some of the primary buds to prevent them from competing with the central leader in the future. Also, knock off any buds inside the crotches because you don't want them growing out and crossing over other branches. All of this will make it so you won't have to trim as much next year.
Trim the scaffold branches as well by selecting a bud that will grow out horizontally and snipping right above it. Then wipe off any buds that are pointing up towards the central leader. In trees a few years old you can head back the lateral or scaffold branches by as much as half. Be strategic by knocking off the appropriate ones at the right heights and don’t forget to clear the top ones from the scaffold branches.
The last step is to clean up the fallen branches and appreciate the beauty of your growing trees. The spring is coming and your trees will only continue to grow healthier and all that hard work will be worth it!