Small limbs falling

Asked October 16, 2018, 8:53 PM EDT

My pecan tree is about 25 years old. It had a large wound on the trunk 10 years ago which has healed very well. This year it has no nuts on it and is losing small branches,the leaves turn brown and cluster of leaves fall off. This has been happening since the end of September. Is this a bug problem or something else

Newton County Missouri

1 Response

I feel pretty sure that this is a pollination problem. I'm glad the wound has healed. That will stress a tree but it sounds like it's callousing over well.

The flowers of pecan are self-infertile. That means that cross pollination has to happen.And these are wind-pollinated (like corn). When the female flowers are receptive to another pecan's pollen, the weather should be nice and dry and not frosty.

If you have rain during pollen shed, the female flowers will not receive the wind-blown pollen and therefore, will not produce a nut.

If there's a late frost and female flowers are out, they could be killed...therefore, no nut.

Here's our University of Kentucky publication on nut trees, it's pretty thorough: There's good discussion on pollination on page 3.

Your other question of random leaves/branches falling off is much harder to diagnose without pictures or being there. If it's not normal autumnal leaf shed, I would recommend consulting with your local county Extension office.

Hope this helps.