Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Orchard renewal

    Back in the 1970's, Mohawk and Maramec were among the most highly recommended pecan cultivars in Kansas and Oklahoma. Both nuts are very large and produce large beautiful kernels especially when the trees are young (under 20 years old). As we gained experience with Mohawk and Maramec, we discovered their fatal flaws.  As Mohawk trees mature they become increasing prone to alternate bearing. During the "on" years Mohawk produces so many nuts that the tree can not fill the kernel. In additon, the tree becomes so drained by over production it become very susceptible to winter cold injury. Maramec has just the opposite problem--the trees are under-productive. Maramec is also very susceptible to pecan scab and often suffers cold injury.   

    This year, we decided to remove a group of Mohawk and Maramec trees to make room for more reliable and scab resistant cultivars (photo at right).  We also removed several Coy trees and a couple of natives to give us a 2-3 acre patch of open ground to plant new trees. (Coy is an old and unproductive cultivar only propagated in the Chetopa, KS area).

    In the aerial photo at left, I've marked the area we cleared (red box). Besides removing some very unproductive trees (Mohawk, Maramec, & Coy), we will now be able to utilize several areas that were previously open space for planting new trees.