En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - July 18, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Pruning, Trees
Title: Repair of broken branch stump on pecan tree
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, big fan. Recently one of my pecan trees had a large branch break off, about 4 or 5 inches in diameter. The strange part was there was no clear sign of what caused the damage, i.e. no heavy winds or rain that night. With thunder storms forecasted, we went ahead and removed the damaged branches. However, now we are wondering what additional maintenance might be needed. Any advice?

ANSWER:

Carya illinoinensis (pecan) is notorious for its brittle limbs. It is never a good idea to situate houses or other crushable objects of value beneath them. With the copious rainfall in your area (Central Texas) this year, the pecans have put on more lush, heavy growth than normal. Combine that with developing nuts, and some limbs are bound to break -- even in the absence of wind and rain. It is possible there could have been some kind of damage on the limb which also hastened its demise.

If you haven't already done so, you will want to properly prune the broken branch stump back to the limb collar. The use of pruning paint to seal the cut is unnecessary and not advised for pecans. Other than removing dead and diseased limbs, there isn't a lot of other top maintenance that should be done to pecans by homeowners. If in doubt about your tree, contact a local ISA certified arborist for advice and service.

 

More Trees Questions

Wound to ash tree in Connecticut
January 29, 2009 - My parents live in CT and there is a ravine on the side of their property with a beautiful ash tree on the bank. A week or two ago a drunk driver crashed their car into the ash. Now the tree has a l...
view the full question and answer

Cotonwood fluff in Kansas
May 23, 2010 - Two weeks ago my yard, deck pond became covered in seeds/leaves not sure what it is but it looks like oatmeal. Any idea what plant it might come from.
view the full question and answer

Distressed Red Oak tree in Pflugerville, TX.
July 22, 2012 - I have a large (40 ft) Red Oak tree in my yard that is distressed. It started with yellowing leaves, with darker veins. Then small brown spots appeared, followed by browning arount the leaves edges. N...
view the full question and answer

Live oak trees with rusty spots and holes on tree trunks
September 21, 2011 - I have live oak trees that have developed rusty spots, small holes on the tree trunks and sawdust on the trees base. They were planted in Oct 2010. We have had a hot dry summer in Texas this year an...
view the full question and answer

Deer-resistant trees for privacy in Texas
January 09, 2015 - I need to find a deer resistant tall shrub or tree to plant and hide the deer fence my neighbor just put up on our property line. My property has full sun in parts and mostly shady in other parts and ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center