Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Tuesday - September 04, 2012

From: Grand Prairie, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Pecan tree dropping limbs in Grand Prairie, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Our 15 year old pecan tree is losing it's limbs. The tree and its leaves look healthy with no signs of bugs or mites, but all the limbs are drooping and breaking off. The tree did have a bumper crop of pecans and the weight of the green pecans may have been a factor. We have lost half of the tree and are wondering if it's a lost cause at this point.

ANSWER:


That sounds like significant limb loss, so before you read the rest of this, you might want to contact some one in the area who is knowledgeable about pecan trees to take a look at your tree and diagnose the problem. Mr Smarty Plants is a fan of Texas Agrilife Extension, and since Grand Prairie is in three counties, it would seem that you have three Extension Offices to choose from; Dallas County, Ellis County, and Tarrant County.

Limb loss can be attributed to several causes including insects, squirrels, and water stress.  An insect culprit is the twig girdler,  whose damage is mostly restricted to twigs and smaller limbs. Squirrels also concentrate mostly on smaller limbs. It sounds as if you are loosing larger limbs which could be a problem of water stress. The drought and the bumper crop of pecans have strained the tree’s water supply which in turn causes the limbs to become dry and brittle.

The links below address these three contingencies.

Aggie-Horticulture

North Carolina State University

Texas Pecan 

This link to Colorada State University give good advice about tree pruning which you will need to do to shape up your tree.


 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Problems in germination of Asclepias tuberosa in New York
August 31, 2006 - I am a member of the Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College and I need information on Acleptis tuberosa. I am in USDA zone 6. Last year I planted fresh seeds purchased from Johnny's S...
view the full question and answer

Mountain Laurel having trouble in AZ
June 07, 2011 - A Sophora secundflora (Texas mountain laurel) was planted to an Arizona north faced front yard last year in August under full sun. Starting early this year, I noticed its leaves turn to light green an...
view the full question and answer

Health of pond cypress
April 08, 2005 - Is there a common reason pond cypress trees vary greatly in their apparent health in similar conditions? I have 7 of them on my property, only two look healthy, one died and fell down recently. The lo...
view the full question and answer

Red oak leaves have a swelling along the veins
June 17, 2015 - I have red oaks in my back yard, approx 30 or more have a disease that are wilting the leaves. Looking at the back of the leaf there is swelling along the spines. I've gone to one nursery in town ...
view the full question and answer

Can a Quaking aspen grow in central Texas?
August 11, 2015 - I live in Austin and like the idea of a Quaking Aspen tree. I live on a creek and the tree(s) would get good sun and water. Am I crazy?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.