En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - November 12, 2008

From: Livingston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning, Trees
Title: Hurricane damage to pecan tree
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

The recent hurricane twisted the top out of our pecan tree, leaving a couple still attached but down on the ground. Could we cut all of the damage off and just leave the trunk? Would there be a chance it would sprout again.. with any success? The trunk is about 12 inches across where the fork of the twisted limbs is.

ANSWER:

Livingston really got hit hard in Hurricane Ike, and we're sorry to hear about your tree. While Carya illinoinensis (pecan) is a valuable tree, we don't think there is much chance it will resprout. There is a possibility some suckers will come up from the roots, but it would take a long time for one of them to develop into a decent-sized tree. Our webpage on the pecan says, under "Maintenance": "Remove dead growth, prune to maintain strong branching, prevent complete soil dryness. Maintain mulch layer. Fertilize 3 times a year with lawn fertilizer 3:1:2 ratio. Spray, as required, to control insects & disease." It would seem that if you remove dead growth, you no longer have anything to prune for strong branching. Other comments we found about the pecan tree were that it had brittle branches, which you certainly seem to have seen demonstrated, and was susceptible to a number of insects and diseases.

We would suggest you see this article from the Texas Forest Service Hurricane Ike Response and Recovery. Then go to their Home Page where you will find links to, among others, "Landowners." This Home Page lists contact information, including e-mail. We don't know exactly the extent to which they can help you, but it certainly looks like a good place to start.

Frankly, our opinion is that it is not worth trying to get it to resprout. It probably would be better to remove the tree, or stump, as it were, and replace with another tree.


Carya illinoinensis

Carya illinoinensis

Carya illinoinensis

Carya illinoinensis

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Bur oak defoliation
September 05, 2008 - I have a bur oak that was planted in 1993. In 2000, I had mortared stone edging (approx 5 inches deep) installed around the trunk from 4 to 6 feet away. In the last 3 years, the tree seems to be decli...
view the full question and answer

Possible wilt disease in mountain laurels
August 31, 2006 - Three of about 24 of my mature mountain laurels died suddenly, the leaves turned brown almost overnight, scratching the bark revealed no green tissue, the small branches practically cracked when bent,...
view the full question and answer

Non-native, and/or invasive bermudagrass, St. Augustine and Pistache from Houston
September 24, 2012 - Our St. Augustine lawn died suddenly this summer from either chinch bugs or grub worms (or both?), and a multitude of weeds and native Bermuda have taken over the area. Now that the weather has cooled...
view the full question and answer

Fruit crops to grow in Tennessee mountains
May 27, 2013 - My property has a lot of rock formations throughout it and has hundreds of cedars where it is not pasture. I am wanting to grow fruit trees and berry bushes but don't know what can grow in this e...
view the full question and answer

Growing a Texas Mountain Laurel in Pennsylvania
May 20, 2012 - Can I grow a Texas Mt. Laurel in Lancaster, PA?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center