Monday, November 1, 2010

Recovery from the 2007 Ice Storm

    I can still recall the terrible sound of limbs breaking off of pecan trees during the 2007 December ice storm. Crack! It sounded like we were in a war zone. It took us almost 6 months to clean up and prune up our pecan grove. The first question on our minds was, "when would these trees recover from the limb breakage and when would the trees begin to bear nuts again?"
     We now have our answer. In the photo at left you can see the shadow of large limbs that had be snapped off during the ice storm. From those broken limbs, new sprouts have emerged, first shooting straight up, but with time, developing many short side branches. This year, the third growing season after the storm, we are seeing nut production on the side shoots of new wood grown since Dec 2007.

    Our recovery plan for getting back into nut production following the ice storm was simple. Keep doing what we always have done. That means we maintained our normal fertilizer program and continued to control insects and diseases as needed. Each year we apply 150lbs urea/acre plus 100 lbs potash/acre over the entire pecan grove around March 1. We add an additional 100 lbs urea/acre to the grove shortly after October 1. We have continued using early season fungicide sprays( in June) to maintain leaf health. We have also controlled all insect pests when they appeared. The key was to keep the trees in good condition so they could grow new, nut-bearing limbs that will replace those limbs lost in the ice storm.