• Bob Whitney, TPB Exec Dir

Freeze Damage 2019 or was it 2020?


There is nothing like waking up one morning in October to this! Jake, I feel for you and wish you all the best. I am sure you want to sell out and move to a warmer climate....







Lots of orchards along the Red River suffered from the very early freezing rain, sleet and ice in October of 2020. But this tree (right) is suffering from the freeze of last October, 2019. This Pawnee orchard is out near St. Lawrence and I would have never thought that trees this old and this size would be hit as hard as they were from the October 2019 freeze.


Doug has some hard decisions to make as he will need to prune back a lot of limb(s) to get back to good, solid wood. Nobody would have anticipated this until the trees leafed out or better said, didn't leaf out. For this orchard owner the real decision is "do I keep them as Pawnee," or graft to another variety.


Typically Pawnee is known to be freeze resistant but they haven't been tested in conditions of very warm fall temperatures that plunge overnight to the 20's. There is an interaction with tree rootstocks and tops that can cause a top to be more prone to freeze but most nursery trees from Texas are grown on freeze tolerant rootstocks.



I have put out a picture of this before but a video is so much more "visual." This is an orchard near Brownfield and it shows what you do when trees are froze nearly to the ground. Dustin is working to graft on new tops which basically means starting over!


I have worked on letters to insurance, FSA and RMA to support growers and their efforts to get recognition of this disaster. If I or the Texas Pecan Board can do anything just let me know.

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