Monday, August 8, 2016
HOME PECAN TREES
Press Release Eddy County Cooperative Extension Service 1304 West Stevens Carlsbad, NM 88220 For More Information, Contact: Woods Houghton, Eddy County Agriculture Agent Eddy County Cooperative Extension Service Phone: 575-887-6595 Fax: 575-887-3795 firstname.lastname@example.org FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Press Release HOME PECAN TREES The pecan (Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K.Koch) is not generally considered a native of Eddy County or New Mexico. Although a few large trees producing seedling-type pecan nuts were or are growing in southern New Mexico, there is evidence that some of these were brought to the area from central Texas and north-central Mexico in the late 1800s or early 1900s. Few of these original pecan trees remain today. One, considered the largest pecan tree in the state, still grows near the town of Mesilla, NM. There is one in South Eddy County that may be as big or larger. The oldest known planting improved (named) varieties were at the Fabian Garcia Agricultural Center of New Mexico State University in Mesilla Park, NM in 1915 and 1916. At the time it was planted, the four-acre planting was the largest pecan planting in New Mexico. Many of these trees remain in their original planting sites. Early pioneers of pecan promotion in the Mesilla Valley was J.W. Newberry of Fairacres, NM. Newberry grew, propagated, and sold pecan trees. The first large-scale planting of pecans in New Mexico, however, was made by the late Deanne F. Stahmann. This 30-acre planting was made on the Snow Ranch, a farm south of Las Cruces in 1934 and 1935. Stahmann mainly planted 'Western' with 'Burkett' as the pollinator. He made subsequent additional plantings on the remainder of the Snow Ranch, as it is still known today. What is known today as Stahmann Farms was land that was cleared and leveled for planting later. Other smaller plantings were made by other growers in Pecos river basin after the Snow Ranch plantings. I know from notes of the Eddy County Agriculture Agent that there were a number of Pecans planted in Eddy County in 1938. While the value of the pecan industry can easily be measured from a nut production standpoint, there are other, less obvious, benefits to the community. Hartman et al. (2000) identified the following benefits of trees to a community: Supply oxygen; sequester carbon dioxide; reduce noise pollution; trap particulates; alter microclimate; improve aesthetics; enhance outdoor urban spaces; alter the community’s character. Obviously, the opportunity to provide income was not included. These benefits are difficult to quantify, and it’s even more difficult to define their dollar value. Hence, the values are non-commensurable, since they do not have a common unit of measure. I have been told by real-estate professionals that properly placed Pecans can add 10 to 20 thousand dollars to the value of a home. The main ingredients needed by pecan trees in Eddy County NM include adequate space, water, nitrogen, zinc and more water. A mature pecan tree requires nearly 34,000 gallons of water per year. With annual average yields of 40 to 50pounds per tree, this amounts to nearly 680 to 850 gallons of water per pound of nuts, depending on soil type. Proper management of these practices will result in fast growing productive trees. Trees will begin producing a few nuts three to four years after planting. Significant production can be achieved in six to eight years. Good production will begin the ninth or tenth year. Trees can be productive for a100 years or longer. Pecans, like other fruit and nut trees, exhibit a characteristic called alternate bearing. This is when trees produce an abundant crop one year and the following year relatively few fruits/nuts. The third year yields will be abundant once more. The fourth year will produce small yields. This cycle continues for the life of the pecan tree. A pecan tree can produce about from 50 to 80 pounds of nuts per tree per year. That can be significant and depending on how and where those nuts are marketed can be an economic return or just good pie. Subscribe to Eddy County Ag news at: http://nmsueddyag.blogspot.com/ Eddy County Extension Service, New Mexico State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educator. All programs are available to everyone regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, handicap, or national origin. New Mexico State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Eddy County Government Cooperating.