Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Squirrels feeding on pecans already

   All summer long, we have been collecting nuts that drop from native pecan trees in drop cages. In most cases these dropped nuts were damaged by stink bugs, shuckworm, casebearer, or pecan scab. However, today we found evidence that squirrels have begun feeding (photo above). A squirrel seems to be able to sense the stage of kernel development inside a green-husked nut and will crack open nut as soon as it begins depositing kernel tissue. This usually means that the earliest ripening trees in the orchard will suffer the greatest amount of squirrel damage.
   We have been trapping squirrels all summer long and hopefully we have reduced the squirrel population around our pecan grove. However, looks like we have at least one squirrel that needs a good dose of lead poisoning.