Pecan trees are fighting for survival in this hot, dry weather. "The heat will kill a pecan tree," said John Turner, Miller County agent, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Arkansas.
Turner said the summer heat has caused the leaves of many pecan trees to wilt and stick to the trees. "Some leaves have yellow spots, and some are completely yellow. This is all due to a lack of moisture."
The lack of moisture causes the trees to abort pecans in an effort to survive. Once the leaves fall off, pecan production stops. "The leaves are like a solar panel," said Turner. "They trap sunlight that creates fuel for photosynthesis, which is what the tree uses for food."
Not only is the heat destroying the trees, it's "creating a mess" for farmers, according to Turner. "The lack of moisture causes trees to abort pecans, which creates a mess and can make harvest more difficult."
Prior to harvest, pick up any limbs around the trees and cut down tall weeds.