Carya illinoinensis, more commonly known as the Pecan tree, is a native species found in the central and east-central regions of the United States and Mexico. This majestic shade tree is primarily cultivated for its delectable edible nuts, which can conjure thoughts of mouthwatering southern pecan pie. Pecan trees can soar to impressive heights, with some reaching up to 130 feet, though they generally grow to a more manageable height of 70 to 100 feet, with a canopy spanning 40 to 75 feet.
As we approach this time of year, you may notice that your Pecan tree seems to be encroaching on your roof or that its lower branches are extending over your lawn. If so, rest assured that you are not alone in your observations. Arborists are frequently discussing Pecans during this season, as Boutte Tree receives a daily influx of calls regarding these trees. One common issue arises from the combination of heavy nut crops and dry weather, often leading to the breakage of otherwise healthy branches. Additionally, sporadic thunderstorms further exacerbate this problem, resulting in numerous instances of sturdy trees shedding branches.
Boutte Tree is always here to lend a hand! Should you require assistance with pruning broken branches or wish to evaluate whether reducing branch weight or implementing support cables would prevent future branch failures, do not hesitate to contact us. While we may not be able to perform proactive pruning before your Pecans shed their fruit this year, this type of maintenance can be carried out effectively during the winter months. Lightening the load by reducing excessive branch end-weight on overextended limbs can enhance your tree’s capacity to withstand additional weight from foliage, pecans, and the wind’s force during storms.
And what about those webs that you can often see on Pecan trees? Contrary to appearances, these webs are not the handiwork of spiders but are instead the creation of tent caterpillars. These voracious caterpillars can be found on numerous trees throughout Atlanta. If they infest young trees or are within your reach, they can be pruned away, but they generally pose no significant threat to larger trees. Pecan trees, in particular, seem to be a favorite of theirs. In cases where treatment is deemed necessary, we employ well-timed, targeted solutions to minimize the impact on beneficial insects. To gain further insight into why we recommend targeted treatments over non-target sprays and to learn more about the beneficial insects that contribute to the well-being of your trees and yard, please refer to this informative resource on “good” insects to keep around in your yard.
By caring for your Pecan trees and addressing common issues such as branch breakage and tent caterpillar infestations, you can ensure the health and longevity of these remarkable trees that grace our landscapes and provide us with those delectable, mouthwatering pecans.