Pecan Trees, Squirrels & Crows

[Originally posted on September 22, 2011]

Not only does a pecan grower monitor disease and insect pests to protect his pecan crop year in and year out, he also has to monitor crows and squirrels.

Squirrels start damaging pecans as they are sizing up in late July and early August and throughout harvest. According to the University of Florida, it has been estimated that one tiny squirrel can easily consume 50 pounds of nuts per year. These pesky critters hoard and bury up to two pounds of pecans per day not caring if the nuts are green or immature. Squirrels also damage delicate twigs, limbs and foliage of the pecan trees. Some people utilize live traps to trap and relocate the squirrels, but we find that declaring “war” on squirrels during hunting season is the most effective. Squirrels make good GUMBO!

One can always tell when the pecans are ready to harvest by noticing when the crows show up. One crow can damage up to fifteen pounds of pecans per month. Crows are very intelligent birds and can be quite a challenge to control. We have hung dead crows from pecan trees to discourage their buddies from returning to that area. Those hanging crows are what we call “CROW ORNAMENTS“. We have also used propane propelled devises that go off periodically resembling the sound of a gun. This works for a short while until the crows get used to it.

Riding through the orchard one can see many squirrels running below the trees and many crows flying above the trees so it is time to get prepared for the “WAR“!

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