August is a busy month for pecan trees. Lenny Wells, associate professor of horticulture and pecan specialist at the University of Georgia, says pecan trees go through many changes and face a lot of stress in August.
During this time of year, water demand is at its peak, so growers need to make sure they are irrigating well. Pest pressure is also at an all-time high during August. Wells recommends being on the lookout for aphids and mites in the leaves. Weevils and hickory shuckworms also increase during this time.
However, the biggest changes happen within the tree. In mid-August, the kernels of the tree begin to peel, putting a lot of stress on the tree. “That’s a very high energy-consuming process,” Wells says. While the kernels peel, the tree is also going through some cellular changes. August is when the buds decide whether they will be vegetative or reproductive for the next season. “It’s pretty much determining what kind of crop it’s going to have for the following year,” Wells says.
Because pecan trees go through important changes during August, it is imperative that growers make sure their trees are healthy, advises Wells. “It’s going to be better for the quality of crop you get this year and next year as well,” he concludes.
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