Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Checking pecan cultivars for flowering habit

Mullahy, 5 May 2014
   As our pecan trees bud out and start to develop catkins, I've been checking out the flowering habits of several cultivars. In a previous post, I showed you how to tell if a pecan cultivar is protandrous (early pollen shedding) or protogynous (late pollen shedding) just by looking at the shape of emerging catkins. Earlier this week I photographed the catkins of several pecan cultivars so I could determine their flowering habit.
    The photo at right is a Mullahy terminal. Note that the catkins are long and thin, which tells me that Mullahy is a protogynous cultivar and will shed pollen late in the pollination season.

Hark, 5 May 2014
   The photo at left shows a Hark shoot. Hark catkins are short and fat indicating that this cultivar has a protandrous flowering habit. Hark will release its pollen early during the pollination season.
   In the photos below you should be able to see that the shape of the catkins indicate that Warren 346 and USDA 61-1-X are protandrous cultivars while City Park is a protogynous cultivar. It is interesting to note that the catkins of City Park are still elongating at the time this photo was taken and have not yet achieved their full length. It looks like City Park will be shedding its pollen at the tail end of the pollination season.

Warren 346, 5 May 2014
USDA 61-1-X, 5 May 2014
City Park, 5 May 2014