Anyone else have a messed up backyard ecology this year?

afireflyAugust 2, 2012

Last year's drought really took a toll but it seems like this year has been even harder for my little place in the world. The pecan trees have huge numbers of aphids. Honeydew covers every available surface. And where are the spiders? Not to mention the wasps? Anyone else having similar issues?

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I didn't think it could get any worse than last summer. I was wrong. My pecan trees were so stressed by the drought that about half of the canopy is gone. If we were having a mild summer, I could have rocked along, but no such luck. My garden is fried. I'm trying to put in a drip irrigation system, but it is slow going with the heat.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 3:18PM
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My crepe myrtles and persimmons have been overwhelmed by aphids. Will be treating with insecticide. I can't afford to lose any more mature trees. :(

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 3:58PM
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tx_ag_95(7/8 Lewisville)

My red oaks are (currently) holding their own, we trimmed back a good section of the pecan that was growing over the electrical wire to the house and two other decent sized branches have broken with the winds we had last month. My established Turk's Cap and (supposedly established)American Beautyberries are needing supplemental water. My irises are showing up with dead leaves and I don't know why. Yet again, the okra keeps getting covered with aphids. I didn't think this was going to be an easy summer and Mother Nature is proving that to be true. Unfortunately.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 9:21PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

I guess y'all read my post about pecan tree aphids. The little bit of honey dew that started drifting down this spring stopped before there was enough to bring on the sooty mold so for that I'm giving credit to the wasps.

But if I had to spray I'd do it with insecticidal soap. Years ago at another house when I tried to have pecans I sprayed the trees like the garden gurus said. In order to reach to the top of the tree I got on the roof of the house with a hose end sprayer (I had good water pressure) and sprayed from there. On the other side of the tree I stood on a high step ladder and reached most of it.

I put it off as long as possible but yesterday (my watering day) I gave supplemental water to a couple of the large shrubs in front that were wilting. Even the huge Mountain Laurel planted in the 'ell strip wilted last year and had to be watered. I really gotta' watch those shrubs and some of the trees in front since I no longer have grass there. However, my neighbor waters his grass so the trees on his side sneak under and get a little drink :-)

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 1:58PM
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Lynn Marie

I haven't had the same experience in my teeny tiny suburban back yard. Maybe that's because it is so small. This has been a perfectly normal year for me... except that the tomatoes produced much better than usual this spring.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 10:23AM
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About the wasps, the paper wasps are gone here and they used to be the most numerous wasps around. They struggled to survive the two worst periods of drought, but now are gone. I do see other wasp species occasionally, but few and far between. Some of the butterfly species haven't repopulated this area either. BTW, I've got snout butterflies here now. They've been nectaring on a blooming Brasil tree for a week now! Brasil (Condalia Hookeri) is a great habitat tree.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 11:06AM
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