In order to increase sustainability in agriculture while maintaining or increasing production, we need to change how we think about growing crops. With perennial, high-value crops such as pecan, we can modify growing practices to capitalize on services offered by nature, without complicating cultural practices or decreasing overall yields. The first chapter gives a comparison of natural pecan forests, modified groves, and orchards of improved pecan varieties, as well as highlights natural defenses offered by pecan trees in all three settings. The following two chapters document a study attempting to maximize these natural defenses in pecan orchards- encouraging biological control of pecan insect pests and enhancing soil properties through the diversification of understory plants. This should be useful for those interested in agroecology, especially those interested in the design of pecan and other horticultural crops.