A pruning trial led the information at this years California Pecan Growers Association’s conference. Different pruning frequency was the focus of the trial and some results showed improved nut quality.
The California Pecan Growers Association conference had information on several aspects of growing pecans,including research from New Mexico on mechanical pruning. New Mexico State University Pecan Specialist. Dr. Richard Heerema explains the trials. “What we were looking at was the impact of mechanical pruning frequency on nut quality and yield traits for pecans. We began the study in 2005 and 2006,” Heerema says. “We were interested in how a one, two and three year cycle impacts these different aspects. What we found is that yields were reduced by pruning, which didn’t surprise us much, but really it was the nut quality that was dramatically impacted in a positive way by mechanical pruning.”
Heerema says proper pruning can lead to better light distribution, and there are clear benefits to proper light distribution. “Light that reaches the orchard floor is light that isn’t used by the pecan tree. That might be considered wasted light,” Heerema says. “The other side of that equation is that more of that light is getting deeper into the canopy. You get better light distribution and that might impact the total yield of the canopy.”
Listen to Heerema’s full interview about the trial. Heerema’s full interview