Monday, March 26, 2012

Bud break comes early in 2012

    Last week our pecan trees were under water. So, today was the first time I was able to get around the Pecan Experiment Field to check on this year's bud development. Wow, things have really popped. Of the cultivars I looked at today, Greenriver was farthest advanced (photo at right). Not only had Greenriver buds broken but the new growth had already moved into the leave burst stage.
    Today, many of the cultivars I checked were in the bud enlargement stage of spring growth development. Pictured at left is a twig cut from the Kanza cultivar. It was only a week ago that Kanza was still fully dormant.
     Spring temperatures, especially night time temperatures,  have been above normal for this time of year. These warm temperatures have advanced bud break about 2 weeks over last year. The long range forecast looks for continued warm temperatures with no late frosts predicted.
     Not all pecan cultivars are so far advanced. In the photo at right are two twigs I cut today; one from the Chetopa cultivar (left twig) and the other from the Giles cultivar (right twig). Chetopa has progressed to outer-scale split while Giles has nice plump buds with outer scales still intact. Both of these cultivars originated from the Chetopa, KS area and may have have a higher level of spring frost avoidance built into their genetics as compared to cultivars originating from other parts of the pecan's native range.