Why Pecan Trees are Dying and How You Can Save Them

Trees Austin2011 brought a serious drought to the Central Texas region. It was one of the worst on record. Many creeks and streams dried up and Lake Travis dipped to record low lake levels. The drought had negative affects on many aspects of Central Texas life, but one serious problem it created was serious stress on pecan trees. As a result of low water in the ground, pecan trees have been drying up and dying in Zilker Park and various neighborhoods, causing trouble for Central Texas homeowners. Fortunately, there some things you can do to help save the trees.

When we go through a drought in Central Texas the subsoil moisture levels decrease significantly and in some cases are eliminated. The recent drought has prevented pecan trees from leafing out in the springtime, causing them to dry out and die. When this happens, pecan trees shed branches and debris from parts of the tree that can’t get enough water. Ultimately, seriously ill trees will eventually die from this condition and need to be cut down. But there are things that homeowners can do to help prevent their trees from going through stress and prevent them from dying further.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not advisable to trim these trees or plant new ones to replace them. Doing this only causes more stress to the existing trees and planting new pecans will cause the need for even more subsoil moisture. Tree-trimming should only be done by professional arborists.

Homeowners can contribute to their pecan trees’ well being by providing a little bit of care and attention. Tree experts recommend watering your trees for 30 minutes at night once a week. They recommend watering all around the base of the tree for a half hour, letting the water soak down deep into the soil and into the tree’s root system. Typically, older trees will be more resilient to the drought because they are more established. Newer pecan trees will need the most care.

You can also put incorporate good quality fertilizer all around the problematic trees to build up more nutrients in the soil around the trees. This won’t have an immediate effect, however, over several years, you’ll help your pecans stave off future droughts. Adding a thick layer of fertilizer and mulch around the tree line helps to seal in water and insulate the roots from heat to keep evaporation low. Also, remember that some pecan trees might be in trouble and not show it, so it’s best to provide a little TLC to all your pecan trees, regardless of if they are showing signs of drought or not.

If you still have trouble with your pecan trees dying please contact a Central Texas arborist who can suggest specific types of fertilizer that will be best for your tree, professionally trim upper level branches that might be dying off. Even with recent rain showers, experts still say we are a long way away from being back to normal water conditions. Until then, take extra special care of your pecan Trees in Central Texas. After all, they’re the state

This post was provided by the kind folks at RealtyAustin.

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