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 Pruning Questions

Sprouts at base of holly in Surprise AZ
November 15, 2010 - Friends have recently planted a holly tree in their front yard. They live in AZ and there is no grass (only rock) around their tree. It was planted as a fairly large tree (about 18 feet).My question i...
view the full question and answer

When should salvia greggii be pruned from Austin
December 12, 2013 - Should salvia greggii be pruned in fall/winter? I thought I read onsite that all woody perennials should be left untouched or pruned to 6 inches. Does this apply to salvia greggii?
view the full question and answer

Winter trimming of Greggs mistflower
November 11, 2007 - Do I cut my gregg's mist back to the ground for the winter or just leave it alone?
view the full question and answer

Winter pruning of lantana from Austin
February 12, 2013 - I live in north Austin. Due to our mild winter, my lantana has not died off this season as it usually does after a freeze - and so I have not cut it back yet this year which I typically do about right...
view the full question and answer

Cuttings from beautyberry from Stockport OH
May 22, 2014 - My beauty berry is starting a new growth about 2ft from main plant, can I dig this and part of the root without hurting the main part, if so, when?
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center