Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Pecan trees breaking bud

From L to R: Hark, Major, Giles, Faith (11 Apr 2017)
    Over the past week, our pecan trees have started their spring flush of new growth. At this early stage of bud growth, differences among pecan cultivars are clearly evident. The photo above shows four protandrous cultivars with bud development that ranges from bud swell (Hark) to an early phase of leaf burst (Faith). This arrangement of twigs also reveals that the catkins of protandrous cultivars seem to burst out of their buds before leaves start to unfurl.
    In contrast, the photo below shows 5 protogynous cultivars with a range in bud stage. The buds on the Goosepond twig are just barely getting started while the Lakota twig has leaves unfurling. Once again the flowering habit of these cultivars is clearly displayed. At this point, catkins of protogynous cultivars are still hidden inside their buds and won't start to emerge for several weeks.   

From L to R:Goosepond, Colby, Kanza, Surecrop, Lakota (11 Apr 2017)

Protandrous Faith vs protogynous Lakota
    The photo at right, illustrates the clear difference between protandrous (early pollen shedding) and protogynous (late pollen shedding) cultivars. If you every want to discover the flowering habit of a seedling pecan tree, this early stage of bud break is the best time to make a positive determination.