Friday, January 21, 2011

Natives bounce back


   I will always remember the devastation our native groves suffered following the 2007 ice storm. Broken tree limbs were everywhere. It took nearly six months to clean up the mess. While watching the huge piles of debris burn,  I kept wondering if the native pecan yields we had worked so hard to achieve would ever return. In the graph above, you can see that our yields, like our trees, are regrowing. Let me recap some history. The 2007 yield was record low because we lost most of our spring flush of terminal growth to the Easter Freeze in April. We had just finished our meager harvest in Dec of 2007 when we were hit by the ice storm. The crop in 2008 was slightly better that 2007 even with more that 1/2 the limbs gone because 2008 should have been an  "on" year (a result of the spring freeze in 2007). Yields dropped in 2009 as the trees seemed to put all their energy into growing new branches. In 2010, we were back "on" but this time some of those new limbs produced a few nuts. I'll predict the 2011 crop to decline slightly and then in 2012 we'll be back to the 1500 lb average we harvested during the years prior to 2007.