Soil zinc fertilization of 'Wichita' pecan trees growing under alkaline soil conditions

Humberto Núñez-Moreno, James L. Walworth, Andrew P. Pond, Michael W. Kilby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

The effect of soil banding zinc sulfate and zinc (Zn)-EDTA was evaluated over a period of 4 years on established 'Wichita' pecans [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] growing in alkaline, calcareous soil. Treatments evaluated were ZnSO4 applied at 74 kg Zn/ha and Zn-EDTA at 19 kg Zn/ha. These materials were applied just once on 23 Mar. 2005. Fertilizers were injected in two bands placed 1.2 m from either side of the trunk of the tree and 18 cm deep. Treatments were replicated four times in a randomized complete block design. Data collected included foliar Zn concentrations throughout the season, midseason foliar nutrient concentrations, leaflet growth, nut yield, and nut quality. Significant differences in foliar Zn levels were found 1 month after application of Zn-EDTA. Differences also were noted during the next 3 years on ≈ 25% of the sampling dates. Yields of in-shell pecans averaged 2800 kg·ha-1 during the 3 years of harvest but were unaffected by treatments. Nut quality also was unaffected. Nut kernel percentage was very high, ranging from 61.2% to 63.6% during the study. Growth, measured as leaflet area and trunk cross-sectional area, was unaffected by Zn application. Chlorophyll index ranged from 47.5 to 48.0 in 2007 and from 44.7 to 45.4 in 2008 and was unaffected by applied treatments. Zn-EDTA increased Zn uptake slightly by 'Wichita' pecan trees in alkaline, calcareous conditions during 3 years after one soil band injection. Ongoing research on potted pecan trees (with the same soil used in the present study) suggests that Zn-EDTA can very effectively increase Zn uptake if placed in close proximity to the tree roots. Additional research is needed to refine application and placement methods in these types of soils to produce a more effective and consistent response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1736-1740
Number of pages5
JournalHortScience
Volume44
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2009

Keywords

  • Carya illinoinensis
  • Mineral composition
  • Nut quality
  • Yield
  • Zn EDTA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Horticulture

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