Friday, April 12, 2024

Spring bud development 2024

Kanza, 8 Apr. 2024

     On April 8th, while the nation was enamored with watching a solar eclipse, I was in my pecan grove watching new growth emerge from branch terminals in my pecan grove.  It's the start of a new pecan season and a time of great optimism for the coming nut crop.




Hark, 8 Apr. 2024

   While inspecting the emerging buds of multiple pecan cultivars two key observations came to the forefront. The first was the fact that the cultivar, Hark, breaks bud later than any cultivar in my orchard (photo at left). While most cultivars were showing some some green tissue development, Hark buds were just starting to swell or were still dormant.

    The second observation I could make was the obvious difference in catkin emergence between protandrous (type 1) and protogynous (type 2) cultivars. In the photos above, the red arrows point to the male flowers on both flowering types. With the protandrous cultivar (Caney),  the catkins have already emerged from their bud scales. In contrast, bud scales still tightly cover the catkins of the protogynous cultivar (Kanza). Later this Spring, female flowers will appear at the terminals of new shoots. Female flower clusters will first become visible on protogynous cultivars while protandrous cultivars develop their pistillate flowers during the later half of the pollination season. 

   I recorded bud break for numerous cultivars on April 8th including all of the cultivars from my pecan breeding project. This year, bud break seems fairly uniform across cultivars with the exception of the late leafing Hark. In the photos below, you'll see slight differences in bud development. The bottom line is that if a late spring freeze came now, a majority of cultivars would suffer significant cold damage. The good news is that with each passing day the chances for sub freezing temperatures becomes more remote.







St. Paul