I have several pecan trees that were planted too deep. If I cut them back to the root and let a new tree grow up, will it it be any good, either for shade or nuts? One tree has already done this and looks pretty healthy, but it's only 4 or 5 years old.

  • 1
    I dont get, it will still be too deep. Or are you transplanting, or replanting. Sep 26, 2023 at 2:14

1 Answer 1


If I understand your question correctly, what you are doing should result in one of 2 things:

  1. New growth from the rootstock
  2. A dead plant

Without knowing what rootstock was used for your pecan trees, it is not possible to know in advance what will grow. You might get a pecan tree, but you might get some other compatible rootstock. Whether or not the tree yields something edible is also not predictable.

Generally, when planting any kind of orchard tree for food production, if you have trouble with the initial planting and need to know what you’re growing, you should just pull the trees and plant new trees of known variety.

If you are growing the trees as a pastime and curiosity and don’t mind tending an unfruitful tree for a while, then you can just wait to find out.

Lastly, if you are feeling adventurous, or know how and/or are willing to learn, you can grow the rootstock until it reaches thumb thickness or so, and then graft a desired variety of pecan onto it. Then you have a good rootstock that has survived and grown healthy roots, and you can predict what will happen on top.

  • Do you have any idea if there will be an issue with the root stock being planted too deeply? Is that something it can overcome in time, or will this plant always be at a disadvantage?
    – MackM
    Oct 1, 2023 at 21:55
  • If you’ve actually buried the rootstock too deeply, I would expect it to fail or struggle. If it continues to send up new shoots from the roots, you probably would be better to start over, in my opinion. But growing plants is an adventure, too, so maybe you just want to keep pruning root shoots and trying to nurture a single central start from the rootstock to graft onto later. Your call. You can’t know until you give the plant time to adapt. But you may find it fails, anyway. You have to accept the risk, I think.
    – MTManCH
    Oct 2, 2023 at 22:20

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