By Mid-March the pecan trees begin their fruit producing journey. The buds swell and break out of their protective coverings.
Within a few days tiny leaves begin to unravel.
After bud break pollen producing flowers growing on stalks appear. These are catkins, they are the male reproducer. If there are no catkins it is very unlikely we will have a bountiful crop.
By the end of March and within about a week of catkin elongation the nut-producing flowers (the female reproducer) emerge from the growing tips.
The tip of the pecan can vary in color depending on the variety of pecan. Colors can vary from green, yellow, or red.
When the tip has turned black pollination is complete.
So the pecan season has now begun and within 5-6 months harvest will begin.
As the pecans mature many trials it will face. Insect control, weather variations, water, and fertilization are all key in producing a top-quality nut.
About Mid-April pecan casebearer traps with pheromone lures are placed throughout the orchard.
We must monitor the traps and count the moths trapped. The daily counts helps us to see the peak of the casebearer moth activity.
This moth can destroy a crop at this stage because the nutlet is so small. We call these 1st generation casebearer. From day the moth count peaks eggs will be laid.
Eggs are white when first laid, turn red in 3-5 day, and are pink right before hatching.
We must start spraying in 3-5 days window before eggs hatch to rid the tree of casebearer. First generation casebearer eat the terminal of pecan and enter nut if not killed.
And the spraying is started……we aren’t done yet but hopefully we will contain the 1st generation.
…..follow up and check back for what’s up next in the orchard.