I understand that these trees like well-drained soil. I also understand that they drink a lot of water. I’m trying to figure out a way for them to get as much of their water needs from naturally present water as possible. I have a few places on my land where well-drained soil borders marshier hydric soil. In one case there is a distinct hill that slopes down into a distinct wetland. In another, there is a more gradual slope into soil that is definitely a bit marshy in winter/spring. My question is whether I can use these locations to get the best of both worlds: plant in the well-drained soil but close enough that the roots can extend into the wet to drink? Or will any contact with the poorly draining soil be a problem?
This question could apply to various walnut species as well, since they seem to have similar soil and water needs, and I’m also interested in putting in some of those.
Pecans are native to bottom lands near rivers. So that’s deep alluvial soil often with a water table within reach of the tree roots, say at 5-15 ft deep. So if some of your soil is like that it should be good.
I have a big pecan tree about 40ft tall and wide. As nearly as I can tell it requires about 600 gallons of water a day in our dry climate. That’s 60 dollars a month on city water. I’m trying to decide if the tree is worth that kind of upkeep.
The healthiest pecan trees I have seen are on a low peninsula that juts out into Shoals Creek. The peninsula is about 5 feet above the water. More important perhaps is the soil they grow in. A deep sandy loam is best. Clay soil can work as long as it is permeable. I am growing on silty clay loam that is a bit tighter than preferred, but the trees are hitting 12 inches diameter at 20 years old so they are managing.
This thread has a ton of information if you care to put some time into reading.