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  • Author or Editor: Lenny Wells x
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M. Lenny Wells, Patrick J. Conner, J. Frank Funderburk and Jacob G. Price

Previous studies with a variety of tree species have demonstrated enhanced flowering, fruit set, and yield with foliar boron (B) applications. The effects of foliar-applied B on pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] in the southeastern United States are poorly understood. This study was undertaken to investigate the effect of foliar B application on leaf tissue B concentration, fruit retention, and kernel quality of pecan. Controlled pollination studies showed no effect of B on fruit retention of ‘Stuart’ pecan. Tissue B concentration, fruit retention, and percent kernel of ‘Desirable’ pecan were occasionally enhanced by both two and five B applications made before and through the pollination window in multiple studies over 3 years. As long as leaf B is within the recommended sufficiency range, timing of foliar B application during the critical prepollination period appears to be more valuable for pecan production than are increasing leaf B levels. Given the production enhancements observed here, and the low cost of B fertilizers, the practice of foliar B application merits consideration as a component of pecan orchard management when tank-mixed with normal prepollination pesticide or nutrient sprays.