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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.

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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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Friday - June 11, 2010

From: Huntsville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Pecan with brown spots on the leaves
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Southern pecan, I am a 8 foot tall and 3 year old (young)tree. My leafs have brown spots on top and hard shell mound on the bottom, this is on about 3/4 of the of the leafs, could you tell me what this is and how to fix it? Thank You.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants is very sorry you are ailing.  I would like to compliment you on your communication skills, however!

I consulted several sites that had information on diseases and pests of pecans.  University of Missouri Extension's Pecan Pest Management: Insects and Diseases, University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension's Home Pecan Diseases and Control, Louisiana State University's Agricultural Center's Pecan Disease Synopsis, Clemson University Cooperative Extension's Pecan Diseases, and Texas A&M University Cooperative Extension's Pecan Kernel Diseases.

Your symptoms didn't sound exactly like any of the ones listed, but here are the diseases or pests with  symptoms that most closely resembled yours: 

1) Downy spot fungus caused by Mycosphaerella caryigena

2) Pecan Phylloxera caused by the insect, Phylloxera devastratrix

3) Zonate leaf spot caused by the fungus, Cristulariella moricola

4) Brown leaf spot caused by the fungus, Cercospora fusca

Most of the descriptions of the above conditions offer recommended control measures.

You can also read a rundown of pests and diseases affecting Carya illinoinensis (pecan) from the U. S. Forest Service.

Since pecans are considered agricultural crops you might like to visit Texas AgriLife Extension "Ask an Expert" to ask them the same question.  They are likely to have a plant disease expert on hand who knows pecan tree diseases better than we do.

 

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