Last week I had the opportunity to visit with Paul Sutton, manager of the Paradise Pecan Farm, just as he was about to apply zinc to several acres of mature trees. That served as a reminder to me that this time of year is the most important period to apply zinc whether you have an orchard or just one or two yard trees.
Young non-bearing trees should receive foliar applications every two weeks from now to the first of August. Mature trees need zinc beginning at budbreak and again every two weeks for a total of three applications. Zinc sulfate or zinc nitrate are the products of choice. In addition, homeowners should apply one pound of 33-0-0 per diameter inch of trunk and a minimum of one inch of water per week during the growing season. Pecan trees should never go more than two weeks without water.
May beetles or June bugs can be a nuisance this time of year, particularly on young trees. Adults feed on the foliage at night so observing the foliage during the day will not reveal the culprit. There are no good guidelines or thresholds to help decide on control but if you see a lot of damage and think you need to spray, a good broad spectrum insecticide is your best choice.