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

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

Repairing damage to Anacacho Orchid Tree in Austin
April 30, 2008 - Hi You Guys!! We have an understory Anacacho Orchid Tree in the front and my sweetie was trimming the big oak and dropped a branch down, splitting one of the large branches off the Anacacho. The wou...
view the full question and answer

Problems with red oak in New Braunfels TX
May 11, 2009 - One of my red oaks still doesn't have all its flowers. The main bark has some dark stuff oozing out and one of the branches has a fine powdery substance on it. HELP!!!!
view the full question and answer

Tree with blue berries in Los Angeles, CA
March 22, 2016 - There's a tree outside my house with somewhat thin and short spiky leaves with blue berries. The berries Some of the berries have a frost look and some are dark blue.
view the full question and answer

Wild plum tree failing to bloom from Simonton TX
May 04, 2013 - I have a wild plum tree that has been in the ground for 3 or 4 years and it has not ever flowered. Why? I don't know what kind it is. I dug it up from a friends yard. Her wild plum trees have flowere...
view the full question and answer

Due to drought is pruning live oaks beneficial from Houston
December 07, 2011 - Would it be beneficial (presuming a continued spring drought) to prune live oak trees more severely than usual this winter? I'm thinking that it might help them to have less mass to support.
view the full question and answer

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