Submitted to: Pecan Grower
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/14/2006
Publication Date: 4/1/2006
Citation: Wood, B.W. 2006. Maximizing tree energy reserves: a key role for non-metals. Pecan Grower. 27(4):22-25. Interpretive Summary: Efficient usage of nitrogen fertilizers applied to orchards is a major biological and economic problem for pecan farmers. This communication reviews basic principles that can be used by farmers to design improved nitrogen management strategies. The roles of sunlight, and that of sulfur, nickel, and boron nutrition, are emphasized. This information makes it possible for farmers to minimize nitrogen usage in orchards while still improving nutmeat production.
Technical Abstract: It is important for the orchard manager to understand that in order to ensure good crop yield, it is imperative that tree canopies receive plenty of sunlight needed for photoassimilation of C, N, P, and S. The high-energy organic forms of these elements play an important role in the tree’s ability to return with a good nut crop. Efforts to preserve and extend canopy health are therefore critical to good tree yields. Excellent N management strategies also require that S, P, B, Mo, and Ni are also well managed. Thus, application of N to orchard floors can largely result in a waste of money unless trees are also in good nutritional health and are exposed to plenty of sunlight. The critical role of sunlight underscores the importance of ensuring a high quality light environment within the orchard.