Pecan trees need 48 to 55 acres per year. The rectangular system is not very popular in New Mexico. Instead, a final goal of 24 trees per acre is expected (fig. Temporary trees are removed when they start to pile up).
The orchard is initially planted at 30 feet x 15 feet. When trees are removed from alternate rows, the final tree spacing will be 30 feet x 30 feet. More trees can be cut down later when they start to pile up. When you remove all the other trees in each row, you get a 41.5 ft x 41.5 foot space.
According to Texas extension nut specialists A&M1, a producer needs a minimum of about 100 acres of native walnuts or 40 acres of cultivars to justify the basic equipment needed for garden management and harvesting. Whatever the case, there are many acres of pecans that are not managed and many farmers who are unable to farm in their nut business because land is expensive or not available. Picking nuts by hand is no longer economically feasible, but neither is owning nut equipment unless you own a large grove.