It's August in the Orchard
It's HOT and DRY at least in the Central Texas area. Well, it's hot and dry everywhere. I like to do several things in August in the pecan orchard. One, I like to take a look at the trees from up above and see how the hedging program is working? As you can see from the pictures down several rows we are going to need to hedge this winter and since it is an "on" year it will be a good time to do it. The canopy is about closed and there is no sun reaching lower branches as you can see in the picture on the right. Also, you can see that we are human and some rows get more hedging than others!
One other thing you might notice is how healthy the trees are for August. I am sure its hard to see but there is young growth (lighter colored leaves) in the tree tops and lots of dark green color! Also notice there is no obvious bacterial leaf scorch so far....
Okay, probably too many pictures but I like looking at pecans! Top left are healthy pecan embryos that are just slightly turning color from my cut. The pecan matures from the top down to the stem end. The top middle is pecans that are either about to fall off or fell off the tree. This embryo rot is probably due to water deficiency and pecans are really dropping now. Top right is just a cut through the middle. Since pecans harden their shell from top to bottom I cut just below where there was no resistance to the knife. We are not yet at half-shell hardening on this variety (Western). Bottom left is looking down on the stem end. Notice where it attached to the stem that its longer up and down than side to side. I turned the pecan so that the long part is between my thumb and forefinger and now can cut down for two perfect halves to look at embryo development. Mostly water stage with just the barest amount of gel forming.