Wednesday, January 3rd, 2007

Pecan Pruning

After the , pecan growers have one last, big task — pruning the trees.

Pecan trees are pruned for several reasons. The main reason is to keep the trees smaller, which makes harvesting and tree care easier. But pruning also helps increase or maintain yields and improve nut quality.

Big trees are pruned using a rideable, motorized arm:

The operator can drive through the orchard and raise or lower the arm as needed.

Pruning requires skill. Trees must be cut in the right way, dead limbs recognized and taken out, and narrow crotches removed.

The prunings must be cleared so that they don’t interfere with the care of the trees or serve as a host for disease or insects.

The prunings are first stacked, then hauled off and burnt. No viable economic use for pecan prunings has been found, so burning is currently considered the best disposal option.

Until they began to leaf out and grow, pruned trees look buzz-cut.

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