Mulch Improves Pecan Tree Growth during Orchard Establishment

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  • 1 Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078

`Giles' pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] seedlings were either not mulched or mulched with wood chips arranged in a 1- or 2-m-wide square that was 30 cm deep. Mulch treatments were in factorial combination with two N rates applied as either a single application at budbreak or as a split application at budbreak and 3 weeks later. Tree height was positively related to mulch width each year of the 3-year study, and trunk diameter was positively related to mulch width during the second and third years of the experiment. Leaf P and K concentration during 2 years and leaf N during 1 year of the study were positively related to mulch width. Trees receiving the higher N rate were taller during 2 of 3 years, but leaf N concentration was not affected by N rate. No differences in the parameters measured were observed whether N was applied as a single or as a split application.

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