Friday, May 29, 2015

Pecans set on native pecans

    Yesterday, I drove through flood waters to get down to our pecan grove. At that time, not all our orchards were under water and I was able to get up in our hydraulic lift to check on pecan nut set (photo at right).  Because of the flooding, I was only able to check about a dozen trees but what I saw looked promising.  On many trees, every terminal bore a cluster of 5 to 6 nuts.
    When newly set nuts are so small, it is hard to look up at a pecan tree and get a good feel for the size of the nut crop. The photo at left is my attempt to show you how prolific our native trees are this year.  From terminal buds on last year's growth, two shoots grew and both produced a cluster of pistillate flowers. Currently, five pollinated nuts have set on each of these terminals (photo at left).
    Not pictured in the photo is a shoot that developed from a bud eight inches behind the two shoots in the photo. Sprouting from one-year-old wood and back inside the tree's canopy, this new shoot also produced a cluster of five nuts.
    With the heavy nut set I'm seeing on our trees, I plan to skip making an insecticide treatment to control pecan nut casebearer in early June. This doesn't mean I don't plan to spray our trees during the coming month. The super wet conditions we've experienced over the past couple of weeks has been ideal for the spread of pecan scab and a myriad of foliage diseases. Once we can get over the field with our spray rig, we'll be applying a fungicide to our trees.