To replace a dead or dying pecan tree that has reached full production stage can be a costly undertaking, says Jaime Iglesias, Texas A&M University AgriLife Extension Agent for El Paso County, Texas.
He figures a mature pecan tree is worth $2,500 to $2,850. He estimates the direct costs of buying and growing the original tree to age 12, when the value of the tree’s production equals the cost to produce the nuts, at $309. Lost income from a non-bearing tree would be $650 to $750 until it reaches full production in eight or nine years. Replacing the tree with another of similar maturity totals $1,725.
His calculations are based on a 60-acre, flood-irrigated pecan orchard with 48 trees per acre. Planted on 30 x 30-foot spacing, the trees have a 40-year life span and reach a 1,200-pound breakeven point in the ninth or tenth year.
Land is valued at $10,000 per acre and total investment in the orchard is fully paid off in 15 years.
All cost estimates assume an average nut production of 3,000 pounds per acre, a $3.25 selling point, and an average 55 percent kernel, or $1.79/pound.