Grow pecan trees in the South by choosing the appropriate cultivar for your needs, placing them in a location that allows them plenty of room to grow, and planting them according to the package instructions. For instance, bare-root trees require deeper holes than container-grown trees. Young pecan trees need to be watered often and fertilized regularly.
First choose a variety that is resistant to pest infestations or grows well in small orchards or yards such as Gloriea Grande, Sumner, Carter and Gafford. To ensure pollination, plant at least two different varieties. Next, select a location away from fences, buildings and power lines to allow for maximum growth. Bare-root trees require a hole that is at least 3 feet deep to accommodate the tree's long taproot, while container-grown trees only require a hole large enough to fit the rootball. Space the holes at least 60 feet apart.
Give the pecan trees at least 10 gallons of water per week until they become established, and then reduce watering after the second or third year. However, make sure the tree receives plenty of moisture during the nut-filling stage, the period during the late summer or fall when the pecan nuts are produced. Apply a thick 6-inch layer of organic mulch around the tree to keep the soil moist. Fertilize a young tree with a 5-10-15 ratio fertilizer the first year, followed by an even-ratio fertilizer the following years.