Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wet weather promotes second flush of leaves

    By mid July, I was getting the feeling we were in for another dry summer. We received very little rain during all of June and the first 2 weeks of July.  Then the weather pattern affecting S.E. Kansas changed drastically beginning the third week of July. Over four inches of rain fell on July 21 and not a drop of that moisture ran off the dry, parched ground. But it seems mother nature was just getting primed. Over the course of the next 4 weeks we have received over 16 inches of rainfall. The river has overflowed its banks twice and now the trees are thinking its spring time again.
    A strong second flush of leaf growth has developed, especially on young trees (photo above).  It is easy to spot this new growth by the light green color of the emerging leaves.

     New shoots are developing at scattered locations on the outer portions of  the canopy. As a generally rule, more new shoots have sprouted near the top of the tree and non-fruiting shoots seem more prone to a secondary flush than fruiting shoots (photo at left). However, its easy to find exemptions to these general rules.
    It will interesting to see how this late season growth flush influences this year's nut fill and next year's flower production. We'll be taking nut quality measurements and counting flower clusters to find out.