How far apart should I space pecan trees?

Answered by Jarrod Smith

When it comes to spacing pecan trees, there are a few factors to consider. If you are planning to plant only one or two pecan trees, it is recommended to space them at least 40-60 feet apart. This spacing allows each tree to have enough room to grow and develop a healthy root system without competing for resources such as water, nutrients, and sunlight.

The reason for the 40-60 feet spacing is to prevent overcrowding as pecan trees can grow quite large. They have wide-spreading canopies and extensive root systems, so they need ample space to reach their full potential. Planting them too closely together can result in stunted growth, increased disease susceptibility, and reduced nut production.

However, if you are planning to establish an orchard and intend to thin out the trees as they grow, you can space them as little as 20 feet apart. This narrower spacing allows for a higher density planting, which can be beneficial for commercial pecan production. Thinning out the trees as they mature helps to maintain adequate spacing and prevents overcrowding in the long run.

It is important to mention that the above spacing recommendations are general guidelines and can vary depending on factors such as soil fertility, climate, pecan tree variety, and intended use (commercial or backyard orchard). Consulting with local agricultural extension services or experienced pecan growers in your area can provide more specific recommendations tailored to your unique circumstances.

In my personal experience, I have seen the negative effects of planting pecan trees too closely together. A friend of mine planted several pecan trees in their backyard without considering proper spacing. As the trees grew, their canopies began to overlap, resulting in reduced sunlight penetration and increased competition for resources. This led to decreased nut production and overall tree health. To rectify the situation, they had to selectively remove some of the trees to provide enough space for the remaining ones to thrive.

To summarize, when spacing pecan trees, it is best to allow 40-60 feet between each tree if planting only one or two trees. For orchards where thinning will be practiced, 20 feet spacing can be used initially. However, it is crucial to consider local conditions and seek advice from experts to ensure optimal pecan tree growth and productivity.