Whoa! What are these vermin feeding on the pecan tree leaves?
After removing hundreds of caterpillars that were feeding on the tree leaves by crushing them between my fingers, here is what little foliage remained.
The caterpillars had almost completely defoliated the tree before I noticed it. So far this is the only affected tree that I have found. And, here is a closer look at what the caterpillars leave behind after feeding.
There are lots of birds that feed on the insects in the trees and leave their poop on the leaves and protective fence that encircles each tree. Sometimes they even land on the limbs and break some off. So, why did the birds not find and feed on the hundreds of caterpillars that were on this tree?
In February this year when I checked the grafts made in May, 2016, I came across the graft shown in the following picture:
The scion had only produced a couple of leaves during last Summer and it was less than two inches long – the prognosis did not appear to be good. Although in the picture above it appears that the scion wood had actually died, using a pruner to snip off the end of the scion revealed green cambium. So, instead of giving up on the graft, I decided to wait and see what would happen this Spring.
The following picture was taken in late July of this year and shows how the short piece of scion wood has expanded in girth and popped a bud with a strong limb. Note that the bark has still not grown over the staples. But, this years growth is impressive.
And, here is a picture showing the top of the tree which has added about three feet of new growth this year.
It is interesting to note that the variety of scion wood in this graft is Kanza. In my experience trees of the Kanza pecan variety seem to have a will to live that exceeds that of other pecan varieties.