Wednesday, June 19, 2013
We captured 2 additional moths in all 5 of our pheromone traps. I looked at the weather forecast early this morning and discovered we would have good conditions for spraying today (low wind, temperatures below 85 and little chance of rain). Besides applying an insecticide we also made our first application of a fungicide to control pecan scab.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Buds on the scion were programed to produce flowers last August, long before the scion was cut from the parent tree. Catkins production has little impact on shoot growth but pistillate flowers can slow new shoot elongation significantly.
Monday, June 17, 2013
Friday, June 14, 2013
We scouted our pecan trees for signs of casebearer (PNC) activity again today. As of today, we have yet to find nut entry by any first generation larvae. We are still catching male moths in pheromone traps (data above) but the numbers seem to be dropping off. Pecan nuts are just starting to show signs of enlargement indicating that the PNC egg laying period is rapidly approaching. At this point, we are preparing our sprayers to apply this year's first spray sometime next week. Monday's scouting report should help pinpoint an optimum spray date.
Thursday, June 13, 2013
I received a photo of a young pecan trees with the simple question--" How should I prune this tree?" (photo above, right).
At some point in the past, the top of this tree had been pruned off leaving a 2 inch stump and no strong central leader. Currently, this tree needs more training than actual pruning. First, I'd start by cutting off the stump at the top (cut marked in blue). Next, I'd drive a wooden or steel post next to this tree. With the stake in place, I would tie the uppermost branch to the stake, holding it in an upright position and forcing it to become my central leader (the future tree trunk).
If you look carefully at this upper branch, you will note that side shoots are starting to develop (see area in the red oval above). Here's where you practice the 2-foot rule by removing all side shoots along the upper 2 feet of the central leader.
The final step in training this tree is to slow the growth of the lower side shoots. I simply pinch out the growing point from each shoot using my fingers. This should push more of the tree's growth energy into the central leader yet maintain a healthy level of foliage on the tree.
The quick answer is: 'B' and 'C' are leaves and not competing shoots. Don't prune them. The reason they are taller than the terminal of the central leader is because these leaves are older than the leaves at the terminal and thus more fully expanded. (By the way, I love the deer cage).
tree structural problems. Pinch off these stalked buds as soon as you see them. Not only will you prevent future tree branch angle problems but you will further stimulate the growth of the central leader.