As we begin cleanup throughout the eastern part of the state here in Georgia, we are seeing a pattern again that we have seen with each of these storms in our area.
Older pecan trees have significantly more damage and loss of pecans during storms such as the one that passed through yesterday. Damage reports are coming in from across the state as well as north florida. Parts of northern Florida have some very old orchards that still produce well but that are very prone to damage with high winds and rain like we had yesterday.
The tropical storm was downgraded to a category 3 by the time it made landfall here in the southeast at the panhandle of florida making its way across Georgia and up the coast to parts of the Carolinas. Thankfully damage has been limited here in Georgia but not completely. Growers in the eastern part of the state all the way to the Valdosta area have significant damage in the older orchards.
Limbs, pecans and debris will need to be removed before any harvesting can begin in these areas. The younger orchards in the areas as well as regularly hedged orchards seem to have very minimal damage even in the direct path of the storm’s high winds.
Younger pecan orchards have performed much better in these repeated weather events and many growers across the region have made the case that its time to replace older orchards before mother nature does it for us.
Extremely high winds have become more frequent as tropical storms and hurricanes form in the gulf and migrate across our region, savvy growers are preparing for these weather events by replacing older orchards and pruning young trees to keep orchards more dense with vegetation and trees more uniform allowing them better weather these storms. Growing enormous trees with only a top crop and three or four large branches is a good way to lose yields in high winds.