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Question: 132-5201
We just put in several pecan trees. They are about 6 to 8 feet tall. What can we do to help them along? Sam, Pine Bluff, AR

Mort's Answer:
Dig a half dozen holes with a tire iron in a circle that is a foot and a half around each stem. Each hole should be about 6 inches deep. Fill the holes with 5-10-10 fertilizer. This will hold them for five years.

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Question: 641-4411
Can we use pecan leaves in our compost piles? George, Boaz, AL

Mort's Answer:
Juglone is a toxic substance that is present in walnut leaves. Many vegetables are inhibited in their growth by this compound in the soil. Many people report that composting will make the soil toxicity insignificant. I have not heard of any such chemical in the leaves of pecans. You can sterilize the compost pile by letting it smolder through the winter. Frost will insulate the interior of the pile as it heats up and self sterilizes. If in doubt, leave it out. If you do not sterilize the pecan leaves,they can lower the pH. This would help with azalea and rhododendrons.

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