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How to Care for Pecan Trees

How to Care for Pecan Trees

          Pecan trees are great for open yards because their height allows them to be a great source of shade.  They bear delicious nuts that are extremely versatile as snacks or in recipes.  There are several important steps you can take to ensure your gorgeous pecan trees remain healthy!

          Caring for pecan trees is all about three main things: water, fertilizer, and pest control.  Water is the most significant factor when it comes to nut quality.  The first two weeks of September is the most critical time for watering your trees.  According to the University of Georgia, " as much as 350 gallons of water per day can be required by each tree during the nut filling stage."  The soil must have enough moisture in order for the tree to continue to grow strong and produce high-quality pecans.

          Fertilizing your trees with ammonium nitrate and zinc sulfate will also ensure growth and a healthy crop.  You can do a leaf analysis or soil test to check if your tree is getting the proper nutrition and based on the pH results you can adjust your fertilizer where needed.  According to Jackie Carrol from Gardening Know How "In spring of the year after the tree was planted, spread a pound of 5-10-15 fertilizer over a 25 square foot area around the tree, beginning 1 foot from the trunk. The second and third year after planting, use 10-10-10 fertilizer in the same manner in late winter or early spring and again in late spring. When the tree begins to bear nuts, use 4 pounds of 10-10-10 fertilizer for each inch of trunk diameter."

          Pests may be a concern for your pecan trees and preventing them from becoming a problem is essential.  Identifying which type of pest you're dealing with is the first step because then you can select the proper insecticide to use.  Of course, spraying the whole tree isn't an option so you'll want to seek out the safest insecticide for either of the most common pecan pests, weevils or aphids. 

          If you're lucky enough to care for these beautiful trees, these steps will promote excellent growth, which in turn, will give you better pecans.




The Benefits of Utilizing Sweet Gum Balls

The Benefits of Utilizing Sweet Gum Balls

It’s Sweet Gum Ball time of year again and that means you may find yourself slipping on these prickly round seeds.  Before you write them off as just a nuisance, consider these simple ways to utilize the Sweet Gum Ball Tree and it’s falling “fruit”.

            It’s currently flu season, which means many people are home either recuperating from or avoiding this awful sickness.  But did you know there may be a natural remedy in your backyard?  The infertile seeds of the sweet gum ball contain shikimic acid, which is also contained in the same tree used to make Tamiflu.  If you’re up for some experimenting, Sweet Gum Balls can been used to make a tea from boiling the young green seeds.  The resulting decoction is known for it’s antiviral properties and can be used as a preventative measure against sickness, or as a remedy for the flu. (Consult your doctor if symptoms persist.)

            Let’s not forget about the beauty of the Sweet Gum Ball Tree itself.  This large tree provides shade in the summer, gorgeous orange, red, and yellow leaves in the fall, and is a great privacy barrier.  The fruit it bears provides food for many animals including squirrels, wood ducks, whitetail deer, birds, and beavers.

            These trees are also ideal for reforestation projects because they grow quickly and are resistant to insects.  The wood is great for timber because of its gorgeous interlocked grain.  It’s easy to shape, stain, and paint.

            Overall, the Sweet Gum Ball Tree has much to offer.  A Bag-A-Nut Sweet Gum Ball machine would easily pick up those pesky Sweet Gum Balls so you can utilize all these amazing benefits!