old pecan tree- no pecans

gokbaser(z7 TN)June 7, 2005


We moved to the US 6 years ago and bought a 105 year old bungalow in TN. First year we were surprised by very healthy pecans hundreds of them. Our tree seems very healthy -although I don't know much about them-. My MIL took a pecan back to our home country, put in water and was able to plant from that... However, last Sept we didn't get any pecans... I am worried if the tree has disease after reading the posts. Is there any way to know if we will have pecans this year? Anything I can do to a 100 year old tree? I live in Memphis, TN and we get plenty of rain, can that cause disease?

Thanks in advance...

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gurley157fs(zone 7/8sc)

I am not a pecan expert and there is a lot of very technical advice out there as to how and when to fertilize, special fertilizers for pecans, pollination - what varieties need another to pollinate and so forth.

Bottom line - even if you do all of that stuff your tree may not bear every year anyway. Some years they put out pecans and some years they don't.

I have several pecan trees. The oldest is at the front of the property, broken and disfigured, the woodpeckers have drilled holes all over it. It has moss and ferns growing all up and down the awkward lopsided limbs. Everyone keeps telling me to take it down. I just can't do it. And every two or three years it still gives the best crop of sweet tasting softshell pecans.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2005 at 6:46AM
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I'm not an expert either, but I do have two pecan trees. They sometimes skip a year in production. I do put down the tree spike fertilizer every year.


    Bookmark   June 9, 2005 at 7:18AM
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jimlang(7/8 S. Carolina)

My experience has been good crop followed by poor crop or no crop then good crop again. Helps to have more than one.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2005 at 12:25PM
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Have a look here.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pecans - timing fertilizer applications

    Bookmark   June 15, 2005 at 12:23PM
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There are 2 potential answers.

1. Most likely this is an off year for your tree. Pecans are a masting tree (bear fruit irregularly). This is natural and happens in the wild. The purpose of this is that by producing a large crop, the tree makes more seed than the predators can eat (crows, squirells, weevils) so some is left for new trees. The next year there are no nuts and the predators starve and the population lowers. Often all the trees in the forest will be on a similar schedule and one year there are few nuts, the next year plenty. Even good pecan growers struggle with this problem, and it is the focus of much pecan research.

2. The other potential problem is pecan scab. This is a disease that affects the leaf and shucks, producing black velvety spots. If the young nuts are heavily infected they will drop off in the summer. In a wet year this disease can devastate your crop.

If you see a lot of catkins on the tree in spring, there were probably female flwers as well and if you then don't have nuts something like scab took the crop. If you don't see catkins then the female flowers were probably never there and it is an off-year for your tree.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 12:00PM
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SeaHawk is dead on target.

2004 was an 'off' year for pecans in my area(an hour north of Nashville) - we had bumper crops on pecans, hickories, and walnuts in 2003, but virtually no nuts or acorns at all in the fall of 2004. Looks like a decent crop of walnut & hickory nuts this year, but I've not checked the pecans in the area. Hope this will be an 'on' year.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2005 at 5:12PM
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Will pecan trees grow in N.E. Tennessee? We just bought some property there and want to grow pecan trees but don't know if they're suited to that area. If so, what variety would grow best?

    Bookmark   November 15, 2005 at 6:18PM
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I have several pecan trees in my back yard. I have been in my house for 7 yrs. The first year, I saw a few pecans but since then-nothing. I see a few green pecans on the ground and a few rotton one--what should I do?

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 9:53AM
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