Transplanting Bucket Grown Pecan Trees

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In addition to the commercial importance of pecans, pecan trees add much to the beauty of the home or farm.  Pecan trees should be planted in solid blocks for commercial production.  For home use they can be planted along borders, ditch banks, fences, or in the lawn at least forty feet from buildings. Container grown […]

Pecan Crop Prediction is 256 Million Pounds

The 2014 Tri-State Pecan Growers Conference was held in Alexandria, Louisiana from June 19-20.  Growers attending were from Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas.  At the conclusion of the meeting the much anticipated pecan crop guesstimate was given by Ben Littlepage of Colfax, Louisiana.  The 2014 U.S. Pecan Crop estimate by Mr. Littlepage was 256 million pounds.

Following is the state-by-state prediction for the 2014 pecan crop:

Alabama ……………………………9.0 million lbs.

Arizona ……………………………18.0 million lbs.

Arkansas ……………………………3.0 million lbs.

California ……………………………4.0 million lbs.

Florida ……………………………….1.0 million lbs.

Georgia …………………………….65.0 million lbs.

Kansas ……………………………….2.0 million lbs.

Louisiana ………………………….16.0 million lbs.

Mississippi ………………………….1.0 million lbs.

Missouri ……………………………..1.0 million lbs.

New Mexico ……………………….55.0 million lbs.

North Carolina ……………………..0.5 million lbs.

Oklahoma …………………………..15.0 million lbs.

South Carolina ……………………..0.5 million lbs.

Texas ………………………………..65.0 million lbs.

U.S. Total ………………………….256 million lbs.

Participants toured two local pecan orchards over the course of the two days. The Inglewood Orchard and Harvest Barn became a certified organic operation last year, after the required 3-year period of not using synthetic management methods.  This orchard is around 80 acres.  Trey Decker with Inglewood Farm presented the group with information about this farm’s operation.   The second orchard toured was Rosalie Plantation.  This farm is centered around a picturesque antebellum sugarmill and includes approximately 100 acres of improved pecan trees .

Other speakers included Charlie Graham from the LSU Pecan Research Station, Bill Goff retired from Auburn University Horticulture and George Ray McEachern from Texas A&M University.  Information about pecan orchard management, specifically about orchard spacing, thinning and hedging was discussed.  Pest and disease control as well as updates on the future of pecan research in Louisiana were talked about also.

Louisiana pecan growers in particular say that this year’s crop in each pecan orchard looks to be good compared to the last couple of years as it has not been as dry.  However – all wise pecan growers know – Do not count your nuts before they are in the bag!

Pecans in the Bag

Pecans in the Bag

Pecan Bloom in Pecan Orchard at Natchitoches Pecans Inc

May in the pecan orchard at Little Eva Plantation is abuzz with the orchard in full pecan bloom.  There is nothing quite as beautiful  than looking through the lush green of the pecan trees and the orchard floor this time of year.  The pecan bloom for 2014 looks to be good.  Most of the pecan trees have lots of catkins on them.

Pecan orchard in pecan bloom at Little Eva Plantation

Pecan orchard in pecan bloom at Little Eva Plantation

Pecan trees produce two kinds of flowers.  As a rule, the two types of flowers do not mature at the same time, so a tree usually cannot fertilize itself.  So it is very important to match varieties in an orchard that can pollinate and fertilize each other.  The catkins (male flowers) appear as long strings hanging from the limbs and release pollen.  When the wind blows in gusts we have observed “yellow dust clouds” coming from the tree.

Catkins - the male flowers

Catkins – the male flowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The pistillate (female flowers) appear at the end of the pecan shoots.  Stigmas on the female flowers are receptive to pollen when they are glossy.  They are past receptivity when they begin to dry and turn brown.  Not all female flowers will become a mature pecan.  They may fall off if not pollinated or be aborted by the tree during stress periods such as  heavy crop load or drought before reaching maturity.

Tiny female flowers past receptivity

Tiny female flowers past receptivity

Receptive female flowers

Receptive female flowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stay tuned for updates on the current pecan growing season…another year as a pecan grower and I am still  finding myself becoming ” nuttier than ever”.