Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Warm night temperatures advance pecan budbreak

     Last night, overnight low temperatures did not drop below 60 F. Suddenly all the trees in the area look like they are bursting with new spring growth. Pecan trees are no different. Today I found catkins emerging on a tree that has a protantrous flowering habit (photo at right).

    The buds on protogynous flowering trees have also advanced with new leaves poised to unfurl (photo at left). Catkins on these trees are not visable at this time but will soon break out of the two narrow, tapered buds that appear on either side of each central vegetative bud.
    Emerging shellbark hickory buds are massive (photo at right). If you look carefully you can spot two catkins poking out from under a bud scale mid-way along the expanded bud.
   The emergence of new growth in the Spring always gets me excited for the coming season. We'll be grafting soon, followed by a long summer of watching this year's nut crop grow and mature.