I’ve run out of good titles for our tree planting updates. I write about planting trees more often than just about any other tree topic. But the farm is new(ish) and we are still in the building phase. So what is it this time? More pecans.
Last year planted (I think) 56 pecan trees. 26 died. It was a very large learning experience. This year we planned, plotted, and got expert help. Our 70 new trees arrived just last week. After a demonstration on technique, a short lecture on reasons why we do what we do, and a joint planting session, Alejandro and Oscar have been diligently working on getting them all planted. I took a substantially more active part this time around. I’m tired of loosing trees. We filled in the holes left by the dead ones from last years’ planting and planted two new areas – the small section on the other side of the driveway from the grove above:
And ten trees along the road running from the tubo to the olive plantation gate. Of which I have no photo, sorry. Pecans should be an ideal pasture tree as it’s shade is open – i.e. sunlight will still reach the grass. But it will provide shade for animals. And eventually a nut crop for us.
We once again planted intensively, so about 7 meters apart on the diagonal, 10 meters on the straight. If they all live we’ll be looking at thinning every other tree in about 10 years or so. Should we be so lucky.
With the expert assistance this year came some reassurance about last years’ planting. They took forever to leaf out and then they barely had any leaves at all. Evidently that’s normal the first year. They only grow a couple of small branches that get leaves. By small I mean a couple inches long. All season.
So our lovely new trees are going to look like big tall sticks for a long time. Or shorter sticks. Did you know that you’re supposed to take this gorgeous, eight foot tall sapling and cut it off at three feet? Because tall pecans are hard to harvest a commercial crop from. I don’t know if we’re going to prune these that way or not. Or, let me put this another way, if they are going to be pruned shorter it won’t be me that cuts off the top three to four feet of tree.