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Pecan trees’ shade is too water-costly

Question: I would like to plant a pecan tree in my backyard, but some friends told me they are so difficult to maintain. Plus, they need to be close to another one to be pollinated. If I can plant a pecan tree, which do you recommend to plant for some shade and nuts?

Pecan trees will do well in this climate, but I would not recommend them as a shade tree in the desert.

Pecan trees can be monsters in size and spread, and because of their size, they require large amounts of water as they mature. They are not well-suited to a desert climate where water is a premium.

For shade, all you need are trees in the 20- to 30-foot range in height and they will use considerably less water.

If you want a nut tree, then pick an almond or pistachio instead.

If you are concerned about shading a home for energy conservation, then select trees and shrubs that shade the south and west walls, not the roof. This is where you’re going to get the most energy conservation.

Bob Morris is an associate professor with the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. He can be reached at morrisr@unce.unr.edu or 257-5555.

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