Do pecan trees get better?
This excessively wet summer has caused (?) a giant old (takes 2 people to reach around) pecan tree in the yard to defoliate quite a bit, though it still looks normal without close inspection. Tiny unformed nuts are falling already. (Picked up more than we could eat 2 years ago, paid for the holidays with the rest.) Apparently there are an amazing number of fungi that can cause this, and all sound/look too similar to me to decide what it is. A microscope is probably needed.
This is a residential yard, so no concern for an orchard. But the treatment all of these orchard/forest sites recommend includes cleanup of the infected debris. This tree is surrounded by mowed grass, with a small bed area at the edge of its' drip line to one side. The lowest foliage/branches are at least 8 feet up in the air. We usually rake the leaves toward that bed, and raking is never thorough anyway, and some leaves will be minced and deposited throughout the root system area when mowing. There are a ton of nearly identical trees, not all in this yard. Kind of a grove in the neighborhood, older than most of the houses, which are all in the 70-100 years old range. I'd be surprised to hear of any of these trees being treated chemically. In light of all of that, would an effort to do things differently around this one tree (use bag on mower, rake leaves to elsewhere) make a difference this one year because of this? If so, how far away should the leaves go?
Is this generally something old yard pecan trees go through periodically, or the sign that the end is likely near? Is it even possible to generalize or is it just completely unknown how much of a problem this could be if I don't know what kind of tree or fungus it is?
I'm not getting chemicals for it, so although I would appreciate the suggestion, it's not an option we would consider. (If it's dying at this old age, so be it. We would just like to recognize that fact ASAP.)
Thanks for your thoughts. Maybe I should just take a poll. Smiles!