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

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Wednesday - December 24, 2008

From: Richland, IN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Underdeveloped pecan kernels with brown spots
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

our pecan tree was loaded this year. it is a soft shell . some of the pecan meats are not fully developed and have small dark spots on them. could this be a blyte of somekind and if so what can we do to correct this. we live in Southern Indiana

ANSWER:

Your description sounds like damage from sucking insects, the stink bugs (Family Pentatomidae) and leaffooted bugs (Family Coreidae).  Here is information from Louisiana State University and from University of Florida Extension Service about these insect pests that feed on the pecans and cause black (black pit) or brown (kernel spot) spots in the pecan meats. I suggest you contact your county office of the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service for advice on current methods for controlling these insects.

Here is more information about diseases of Carya illinoinensis (pecan) from the Alabama Pecan Growers Association, Pecan Production Guidelines for Small Orchards and Home Yards from Arizona Cooperative Extension and a Field Key to Larvae in Pecans from Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.

 

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