How trees are handled and packaged before collection

The trees are dormant when excavated from nursery blocks and sold bare-root. Varieties are marked by color codes on the stem. We mark this on the north side of the tree in the nursery, and advise the farmer to have this variety color mark facing north again in his orchard planting. A white mark indicates the natural ground level and it is strongly advised that the tree is planted at this very same level.

Trees are trimmed back to 1 m above ground, and the root are pruned between 700 – 800 mm in length. The trees are then classed according to SAPPA standards and sized according to the diameter of the new growth, approximately 20mm above the graft.

Trees are grouped in bundles for easy handling and counting. The bundles receive a fungicide treatment and are dipped into drums of moisture retaining gel. The bundles are packed into large poly-prop bags to avoid the roots from drying out. Under cool conditions (no humidity, warm weather) these piked trees should be able to keep up to three weeks.

It is recommended to check the gel on the roots if trees need to wait for planting.If planting is delayed the bundles can be laid in a furrow, ensuring that the roots are covered with mud sludge to prevent any drying out of the roots.

The day before planting, dunk the roots of the bundles in water and leave overnight to rehydrate the trees. Plant rehydrated trees from water and never allow the trees to lay open in the wind and sun with roots exposed.

Establishing a pecan orchard

A pecan orchard is an investment in the future. A well managed pecan orchard will exceed 50 years of production. When planning to establish a pecan orchard, account has to be taken of the climate, the soil and the available water to ensure a productive orchard. Specialized information on pecan orchard establishment is available in print and online. From our side, we will strive to be as helpful as possible to our clients in highlighting the most important points when establishing a pecan orchard.

When a farmer plans to establish a pecan orchard, the layout of the orchard, the soil preparation and the irrigation lines should be finalized before the farmer collects his trees.

Soil preparation entails ripping the rows in which the tress will be planted, to ensure good penetration of the taproot and improving the soil with organic matter. Infilling of the planting holes with ‘better’ soil is not recommended as it can create inconsistency in the soil profile. The planting holes should rather be prepared by consulting a technical advisor

The irrigation lines and water supply should be ready when the trees are planted so that the trees can be irrigated soon after planting.

See Information on handling and packaging

The trees should be planted as soon as possible, to avoid the roots from drying out. Before planting soak trees in water and plant from there. Never let the trees lay uncovered in the sun and wind.

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