How to Plant Pecan Trees

Planting a pecan tree requires some thought and pre-planning. Learn what types of pecan trees grow best in you location. Think about what your goal is -- are you interested mainly in a shade tree for your yard or would you like to eat the pecans as well? Are you planting an orchard? Do you plan to sell pecans or are they meant for the family only [source: Texas Pecan]? Whatever your reason, seek advice from a nursery, farmer or pecan expert.

Here's how to plant pecan trees:


  1. Choose a location with well-drained soil, making sure the soil is moist [source: TAMU].
  2. Test the soil by digging a hole 8 inches (20.3 centimeters) wide and 32 inches (81.3 centimeters) deep. Pour 7 gallons (26.5 liters) of water into the hole. Check the water level periodically. If the water is gone within eight hours after pouring it in, the soil has excellent drainage. If it takes 24 hours to drain, it's still okay to plant. But if there's still water in the hole after 48 hours, the drainage is insufficient and you should try another location.
  3. Soak the tree's roots in water for an hour or so.
  4. Dig a hole for the tree while the roots are soaking. The hole should be the same size as the root ball and deep enough to cover only the roots.
  5. Place the tree in the hole. Fill the hole with loose soil all around the roots. Use the same soil you dug out. Press the soil around the roots as you work.
  6. Add at least 5 gallons (19 liters) of water when the hole is ¾ full and wait for the soil to absorb it [source: NMSU].
  7. Finish filling the hole with soil. Press down the soil as you go along, except at the top of the hole, where the soil should be loose.

After you've planted the tree, the following will ensure proper growth:

  1. Soak the area around the tree with a hose.
  2. Stake the tree with rope and three stakes to protect it from damage.
  3. Water the tree often during the first few years [source: Texas Pecan].