Enhancing irrigation efficiency for pecans in humid climates

L. Wells
Pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] tree stem water potential (Ψ), shoot length, nut yield, and nut quality for the following treatments were evaluated in a commercial pecan orchard in Berrien County, Georgia; 1) current recommended irrigation schedule; 2) a reduced early-season irrigation schedule; and 3) non-irrigated control. Water Stress on pecan occurred at about -0.78 MPa using the pressure chamber to measure stem water potential. Regression analysis suggests that irrigation scheduling for mature pecan trees may be needed when volumetric water content reaches 10% on Tifton loamy sand soil. The reduced early-season irrigation schedule provided a 38% reduction in irrigation water use with no significant effect on pecan tree water stress, yield, or quality, suggesting that pecan trees can tolerate moderate early-season water stress with no effect on pecan yield or quality under southeastern US environmental conditions.
Wells, L. (2016). Enhancing irrigation efficiency for pecans in humid climates. Acta Hortic. 1112, 241-246
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1112.33
Carya illinoinensis, water use, stem water potential, soil moisture, cultural management

Acta Horticulturae