Pecan Orchard Management Schedule
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Pecan Orchard Management Schedule

Circular 544 PH 4-100

Esteban Herrera, Extension Horticulturist

College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences New Mexico State University

This Publication is scheduled to be updated and reissued 9/05.

To manage pecan orchards efficiently, growers need an annual plan of work. Planning can help growers and managers address immediate problems and prepare for work that will be needed later in the season.

The schedules in this guide will help New Mexico pecan growers and orchard managers make annual, monthly, and weekly plans. Use these schedules together with orchard records (for example, information on fertilization, water management, harvest dates, and pecan production) to make plans appropriate for the orchard.

The table below provides an overview of orchard operations for a whole year. Following the table, month-by-month schedules cover orchard operations for new, young (2-8 years), and established (9 years or more) orchards.

Month
OPERATION Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Land preparation E--L E--L E--L
Irrigation L E L L E--L L E--L L E
Pruning E--L E--L
Zinc sprays E--L E--L E
INSECT CONTROL
Yellow aphid L E
Black aphid L E E
Nut casebearer L E E--L
Hickory shuckworm L E--L
MAINTENANCE
Sprayers E--L
Tractors E--L E--L E--L E--L E--L E--L E--L E--L E--L E--L E--L E--L
Harvest equipment L E--L E
HARVEST E--L E--L
WEED CONTROL
Pre-emergence herbicide E--L
Spot L L L L L
Discing or mowing E--L E--L E--L E--L E
PROPAGATION
Collecting wood L E--L E
Grafting L E--L
Budding L E--L E--L E
Forcing buds L E--L E--L
E = Early part of the month
L = Late part of the month


Calendar of Operations for Orchard Establishment

Year Prior to Planting

Time Date Done Operation Comments
April Weed control. Spot weed control. Glyphosate applications to Johnson and Bermuda grass.
May Weed control. Continue as necessary.
June Order trees.
July Weed control. Continue as necessary.
Nov. Install drip irrigation system.
Dec. Install drip irrigation system. Prepare land. If not finished in November. Crossed plowing, discing, and laser nivelation. Subsoiling is necessary when soil drainage needs to be improved.


Year of Planting

Time Date Done Operation Comments
Jan. Prepare land.
Install drip irrigation.
Irrigation.
Planting and head pruning.
Transplant old trees.
Irrigation.
Continue if not finished in December.
Last call.
Before planting or transplanting.
If trees have not been pruned by nurseryman.

After planting or transplanting.
Feb. Prepare land.
Irrigation.
Planting and head pruning.
Transplant old trees.
Irrigation.
Pre-emergence herbicide application.
Continue if not finished in January.
Before planting or transplanting.
If trees have not been pruned by nurseryman.

After planting or transplanting.
Apply Treflan.
March
Early
Spot weed control.
Irrigation.
Glyphosate applications.
March
Late
Irrigation.
April
Early
Irrigation.
April
Late
Weed control.
Irrigation.
Done by Glyphosate applications, discing, or mowing.


Year of Planting (continued)

Time Date Done Operation Comments
May
Early
Scout for yellow aphid infestation.
Irrigation.
Chemical control is required if 30 or more yellow aphids are found per compound leaf.
May
Late
First zinc application.
Yellow aphid control.
Weed control.

Irrigation.
If enough foliage is present.
If 30 or more yellow aphids are found per compound leaf.
Can be done by Glyphosate applications, discing, or mowing.
June
Early
Second zinc application.
Nitrogen fertilization.

Irrigation.
Two weeks after first.
Apply 1 pound of ammonium sulfate per tree by ground application only if trees are growing fast.
Right after fertilizing.
June
Late
Third zinc application.
Weed control.
Irrigation.
Two weeks after second.
Can be done by Glyphosate applications, discing, or mowing.
July
Early
Fourth zinc application.
Irrigation.
Two weeks after third.
July
Late
Black aphid control.
Weed control.

Irrigation.
If one or more black aphids are found per compound leaf.
Can be done by Glyphosate applications, discing, or mowing.
Aug.
Early
Yellow aphid control.
Black aphid control.
Irrigation.
If 20 or more yellow aphids per compound leaf are found.
If one or more black aphids per compound leaf are found.
Aug.
Late
Weed control.
Irrigation.
Can be done by Glyphosate applications, discing, or mowing.
Sep.
Early
Black aphid control.
Irrigation.
Late infestation.
Sep.
Late
Irrigation.


Calendar of Operations for Young Orchards

(from 2-8 years)

Time Date Done Operation Comments
Jan.
Early
Pruning (tree training). Central leader system.
Jan.
Late
Heavy winter irrigation.
Replace trees
Add moisture and drain soluble salts.
As necessary.
Feb.
Early
Pre-emergence herbicide aplication.
Pruning (tree training).
Replace trees.
Apply Treflan.
Continue as necessary.
Continue as necessary.
Feb.
Late
Replace trees.
Training pruning.
Continue as necesssary.
Continue as necessary.
March
Early
Nitrogen fertilization. In trees two years or older, apply half of total nitrogen by ground application.
March
Late
Spot weed control.
Irrigation.
Glyphosate applications.
Right after fertilizing.
April
Early
First zinc application. When leaves are unfolding.
April
Late
Scout for early yellow aphid infestation.
Second zinc application.
Patch budding (or grafting).
Weed control.

Irrigation.
Usually when hot weather has prevailed.
One week after first.
Grower may begin to bud (or graft) if bark slips.
Can be done by Glyphosate applications, discing, or mowing.
May
Early
Third zinc application.
Patch budding (or grafting).
Irrigation.
Force buds.
2-3 weeks after second.
Continue as necessary.

Buddings done last fall (after bud break has ocurred).
May
Late
Fourth zinc application.
Weed control.

Yellow aphid control.
Irrigation.
Patch budding (or grafting).
Force buds.
2-3 weeks after third
Can be done by Glyphosate applications, discing, or mowing.
If 30 or more yellow aphids are found per compound leaf.

Continue as necessary.
Current year's budding. Three weeks after budding if budpatch is green.
June
Early
Fifth zinc application.
Remaining 1/2 of nitrogen.
Patch budding (or grafting).
Force buds.
Irrigation.
2-3 weeks after fourth.
By ground application.
Continue as necessary.
Three weeks after budding if budpatch is green.
June
Late
Sixth zinc application.
Weed control.

Budding.
Force buds
Irrigation.
2 weeks after first.
Can be done by Glyphosate applications, discing, or mowing.
Continue as necessary.
3 weeks after budding if budpatch is green.
July
Early
Irrigation.
July
Late
Black aphid control.
Weed control.
Irrigation.
If one or more black aphids per compound leaf are found.
Can be done by Glyphosate applications, discing, or mowing.
Aug
Early
Yellow aphid control.
Black aphid control.
Patch budding.
If 20 or more yellow aphids are found per compound leaf.
If one or more black aphids per compound leaf are found.
Using current year's buds.
Aug
Late
Weed control.
Irrigation.
Patch budding.
Can be done by Glyphosate applications, discing, or mowing.
Last chance.
Sep.
Early
Black aphid control.
Irrigation.
Late infestation.
Sep.
Late
Irrigation.


Calendar of Operations for Established Orchards

(9 years or more)

Time Date Done Operation Comments
Jan.
Early
Selective pruning.
Prune back trees to be transplanted.
Remove dead branches.
To permit sunlight penetration.
Leave a 7- to 9-ft trunk as necessary.
As necessary.
Jan.
Late
Heavy winter irrigation.
Transplant trees.
Prune back branches to be budded (August) or grafted (May to August).
Add moisture and drain soluble salts.
Feb.
Early
Pre-emergence herbicide application.
Selective pruning.
Replace trees.
Transplant trees.
Apply Treflan or Karmex.

Continue as necessary.
Continue as necessary.
Continue as necessary.
Feb.
Late
Collect budwood and graftwood.
Replace trees.
Transplant trees.

Continue as necessary.
Continue as necessary.
March
Early
Nitrogen fertilization.
Maintain sprayers.
Collect budwood and graftwood.
1/2 of total nitrogen by ground application.
Continue as necessary.
March
Late
Spot weed control.
First irrigation.
Glyphosate applications.
Right after fertilizing.
April
Early
First zinc application.
Force buds.
When leaves are unfolding.
Buddings done last fall.
April
Late
Scout for early yellow aphids.
Second zinc application.
Grafting.
Second irrigation.
Spot weed control.
Usually when hot weather has prevailed.
One week after first.
Grower may begin to graft.

Continue Glyphosate applications.
May
Early
Third zinc application.

Grafting.
Third irrigation.
2-3 weeks after second. (Minor elements can be added to zinc sprays.)
Continue as necessary.
May
Late
Weed control.
Fourth zinc application.
Control early yellow aphid infestation.
Pecan nut casebearer control (first generation).
Fourth irrigation.
Grafting.
Spot weed control.
Can be done by Glyphosate application, discing, or mowing.
2-3 weeks after third. (Minor elements can be added to zinc sprays.)
If more than 30 yellow aphids are found per compound leaf.
When tips of the young nuts turn brown after pollination or if 3% of the nut clusters are infested with an egg or larvae.
Last chance (to get some shoot growth this year).
Glyphosate applications.
June
Early
Remaining 1/2 of nitrogen.
Fifth irrigation
Pecan nut casebearer control.
By ground application.
Right after fertilizing.
In cooler years (first generation).
June
Late
Sixth irrigation.
July
Early
Weed control.
Seventh irrigation.
Insect control.
Can be done by herbicide application, discing or mowing.

Last chance to spray systemic insecticide to aphids (80 days limitation pre-harvest).
July
Late
Black aphid control.
Pecan nut casebearer control.
Take leaf samples.

Patch budding.

Eighth irrigation.
Spot weed control.
If one or more black aphids are found per compound leaf.
If 3% of the nut clusters are infested with eggs or larvae.

New growth on pruned branches. (Use buds from current year's growth.)

Continue Glyphosate applications.


Calendar of Operations for Established Orchards (continued)

Time Date Done Operation Comments
Aug.
Early
Weed control.

Yellow aphid control.
Black aphid control.
Maintain harvest equipment.
Patch budding.
Ninth irrigation.
Can be done by herbicide application, discing, or mowing.
If 20 or more yellow aphids are found per compound leaf.
If one or more black aphids are found per compound leaf.

Last chance.
Aug.
Late
First pesticide application for hickory shuckworm.
Tenth irrigation.
Maintain harvest equipment.
Shell hardening.
Continue as necessary.
Sep.
Early
Black aphid control.
Second pesticide application for hickory shuckworm.
Eleventh irrigation.
Late infestation.
Two weeks after first.
Sep.
Late
Third pesticide application for hickory shuckworm.
Preparation for harvest.
Twelfth irrigation.
May not be needed.
Oct.
Early
Thirteenth irrigation needed if hot weather prevails.
Nov.
Mid to Late
Harvest. Begin.
Dec. Harvest.
Burn or incorporate shucks (husks).
Continue as necessary.
Control cultural practice for shuckworm.

Reprinted September 2000
Electronic Distribution September 2000

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