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

Thursday - February 14, 2013

From: Clovis, CA
Region: Select Region
Topic: Trees
Title: Effect of pecan trees on pool deck from Clovis CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have pecan trees next to our pool deck. Are pecan trees invasive, will they lift up our pool deck?

ANSWER:

For starters, the closest states where Carya illinoinensis (Pecan) grows natively are Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, as you can see from this USDA Plant Profile Map. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, only recommends plants native to North America as well as the area in which they are being grown; in this, case Fresno County, CA. This is because a plant native to the climate, soils and rainfall where it is growing will require the expenditure of fewer resources like water, soil amendments and fertilizer.

So, which came first, the deck or the tree? Is the deck concrete? Here are the Growing Conditions of Carya illinoinensis (Pecan).

"Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Cold Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Rich, moist, well-drained soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Caliche type
Conditions Comments: The sweet, edible nut, makes pecan the best hickory for fruit production. The tree does not bear liberal quantities of fruit in the northern part of its range, but makes an interesting ornamental there. Susceptible to galls, twig girdlers, aphids, borers, weevils, pecan scab, tent caterpillars, and webworms. Slow-growing. Difficult to transplant because of a large taproot."

Notice the last line of those conditions. Many people ask us for taproot trees to be planted near a pool. In actuality, even a taproot tree has many feeder roots going in all directions, not only in search of nutrients and water but also to balance the tree and keep it upright in the soil. Follow this plant link Carya illinoinensis (Pecan) to our webpage on the tree to find out more about it. The tree can get ovef a hundred feet tall and we can tell you that it will work on surviving and its roots will almost certainly attempt to crack up the deck in order to facilitate not just the access to soil nutrients and water but also gas exchanges of oxygen and carbon dioxide at the soil surface.

We would also mention that a large deciduous tree in the vicinity of a pool is a mess in the making. Being deciduous, it will be dropping lots of large leaves, twigs and blossoms onto and into the water every year.

Final word: these two, deck and tree, are truly not compatible. If the tree is small, you might sacrifice it by taking it out. Transplanting is difficult, as noted above, because of the taproot. You might not live there long enough to deal with the possible ultimate height of 100', but that is pretty large for a regular residential lot. If you just leave it alone and let them work it out. you are likely to end up with a dead tree or a badly damaged pool area.

 

From the Image Gallery


Pecan
Carya illinoinensis

Pecan
Carya illinoinensis

Pecan
Carya illinoinensis

More Trees Questions

Rock under space for Bigtooth Maple in San Antonio
May 20, 2013 - I just got a 10 gallon Bigtooth Maple in Medina TX for my home outside loop 1604 in San Antonio. I hit rock about 7 inches in when trying to plant it..I am entertaining the idea for a raised bed to le...
view the full question and answer

Trees blooming white in Austin area
March 16, 2010 - 3/16/10 What are the trees that are blooming white in the Austin area. They are a full tree and very prolific in the area.
view the full question and answer

Tree for New Jersey shore
May 02, 2008 - I'm looking for a small tree (max. 15 ft. with small spread) that will tolerate salt spray, wind, and full sun at the NJ shore. There is no protection in this location.
view the full question and answer

Pacific dogwood not fruiting
September 30, 2009 - We have a beautiful Pacific Dogwood in front of our balcony. In some years it has fruit (berries) but has not for the past two years. When it does, it becomes a magnet for Northern Flickers. Is the pr...
view the full question and answer

Best time to trim oak trees to avoid oak wilt
June 08, 2008 - When is the best time to trim oak trees? Concerned regarding oak wilt if cut at wrong time. Ball moss is not harmful but will it help or harm if trees trimmed. These are large oak trees. Thank you.
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center