Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

Reflections in a Pecan Wood

Research has indicated the best way to irrigate pecan trees is flood irrigation. This may appear to be an inefficient use of water, but this method leads to deep irrigation that encourages the tree roots to grow deeply. The water available to the deep roots reduces the need for surface irrigation.

In Doña Ana County we have over 18,000 acres of pecan orchards. So this time of the year the back roads of the Mesilla Valley stretch through thousands of pecan fields being irrigated.

The symmetrical planting of the trees creates endlessly fascinating views. But when you add the spectacular effects of sunlight glistening through the leaves and branches, and the reflections in the waters below, you have some of most remarkable visual delights ever seen.

These photos were taken today of a pecan field being flood irrigated. Click on each image for a larger view. It’s almost impossible to determine where reality ends and reflection begins.

Other pecan posts:

Pecans — The Cadillac of Nuts
18,000+ Acres
Pecan Harvesting
Pecan Pruning

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Saturday, September 16th, 2006

18,000+ Acres

There are 18,000+ acres of pecans in this county (Doña Ana).

How many trees is that?

I don’t know, but you can get some idea of the miles and miles of trees from these satellite photos of pecan groves just south of Mesilla.

In a mature grove, trees are spaced about 30 feet apart, resulting in about 48 trees per acre.

The average yield for a pecan grove is about 600 pounds an acre.

This area produces higher than average yields, but most importantly, the quality of pecans grown here is unmatched anywhere else. High quality pecans require cold in the winter and heat in the summer, but not too cold or too hot. The climate here is just right for pecans.

Most growers in this area do not use chemical insecticides to control pests — instead, growers use natural predators like ladybugs and lacewing flies.