There’s beginning to be budbreak in pecan orchards throughout the Southeast. As trees start to break dormancy, producers need to begin protecting their crop from one pest who impacts trees this time of year, says Lenny Wells, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension pecan specialist.
“We’re just starting to see it now. This is the time they need to (spray), if they’ve had problems with phylloxera, which is a little small insect that’ll cause those little warty bumps on the leaves and they can also deform the stems. Another species of them can deform the stems and really cause some serious problems there, because it’ll also deform the nuts and cause them to fall off really early,” Wells said. “The time to spray for them is right at budbreak. It’s getting about time to spray those. That’s the main thing they probably need to be looking for right now.”
According to UGA Extension, pecan leaf phylloxera is an insect comparable to aphids. Their feedings can lead to abnormal growths of leaf tissues, and the tissue forms a gall that surrounds the insects. Once it forms, no insecticide can penetrate to the insect.