Georgia Pecans: No Need to Increase Irrigation in High Heat

Texas A&M AgriLife Communications photo by Robert Burns

We have some very high temperatures in the forecast for the next several days. With this in mind, I wanted to provide some irrigation suggestions.

The irrigation schedule below is the recommended schedule for drip and microsprinkler on pecan in Georgia. As you can see you should move up to 35-40% of the maximum amount in June. It is probably a good idea to go ahead and move to that June rate at this point with the high temps and the onset of nut sizing coming up.

With temperatures up around 100 degrees for several days growers will be tempted to increase the irrigation further. However, this is not necessary. Pecans are adapted to heat, and in fact, need it.

Photosynthesis begins to shut down in many plants once temps get above 94 degrees. Pecan, however, can still function normally at temps of 106 degrees as long as they have the water they need. The June rate of 35-40% of maximum is adequate for mature pecan trees on drip or micro-sprinkler at this time. For solid set systems you should be at 1″ per week.

For non-bearing trees, I would go up to as much as 170 gallons/week during the heat wave and dry weather on sandy soils.


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