Since then, I haven't done anything for the trees except the occasional drive-by inspection. No water. No fertilizer. Nothing. So last week I thought it was time to take a walk out there and take a close look at how my little experiment was going. To my very pleasant surprise all of the trees were still alive! This is no doubt partially due to the frequent rains we received this summer. Weeds were thriving within the safety of the three-gallon pots, but I made quick work of them with my pruning shears. I know the trees didn't grow as well as they would have if I had babied them all year, but all things considered, I'm very impressed. After all, I just took some bare-root little twigs out there, haphazardly shoved them in the ground, and then left them to fend for themselves. This spring I'll fertilize them, and put down some leaves and pine needles for much.
The Oconee tree appears to be the healthiest of the bunch, but hopefully all the trees spent the year developing good root systems, and will shoot up in the next couple of years. My grandfather always said that a pecan sleeps the first couple years, but will catch up to any tree after that. Since the mowers haven't bothered the trees so far, I'm definitely thinking about how many more trees I can plant out there. I would like to plant some Forkert pecans (the best for the Gulf Coast according to John Panzarella) along the southern edge of the property, but I haven't been able to find any that weren't prohibitively expensive. Depending on how much I have to spend, I may just plant 6-12 native pecan trees. The nuts aren't as large, but they are still very tasty, and I can plant twice as many trees for the same money. Regardless, I am greatly encouraged by my little squat orchard, and I hope to have all 1.3 acres of that lot planted before too long.