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

Desert Willow Roots from Lubbock, TX
September 18, 2014 - I have a very, very happy Desert Willow that has grown larger than we expected and is probably too close to the house. Do I need to worry about a cracked foundation or pipe problems? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Replacing Drought-Stricken Cedars
January 16, 2012 - Hello, I live in Williamson County on a couple acres. We have several dead cedars as a result of drought; we're reluctant to cut them down because many of them provide a friendly barrier between us...
view the full question and answer

What will grow under neighbor's overhanging tree in Grosse Pointe Woods MI
May 29, 2011 - My next door neighbor has a beautiful tree that is easily 60 years old and thus not going anywhere. Unfortunately, for me the roots of this tree have extended under a large corner of my back yard. Add...
view the full question and answer

Fragrant perennial plants for shade in Dallas
July 11, 2011 - I am looking for shade-loving perennial plants to provide fragrance in my garden. What plants would you recommend for my North Texas (Dallas) garden that is fully shaded by huge pecan trees? My curren...
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing tree for Wilmington NC
May 22, 2010 - What kind of fast-growing tree would you plant in Wilmington, NC?
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