Georgia Pecans: Newly Planted Tree Issues

Adult budmoth. Image from University of Georgia

I’ve had a number of calls recently on newly planted trees either not leafing out just yet or the new shoots and leaves scorching. Anytime you have a newly planted tree that is struggling to leaf out, the proper thing to do is to cut it back more. This problem is most prominent where a grower has planted a large diameter 10-12′ tree.

Its important to remember that the larger the tree you plant, the more you need to cut it back because proportionally it has lost more of its root system and these trees will undergo more transplant shock. Many people want to keep a lot of that height, and often do so to keep deer from browsing them as bad but the tree struggles more in this situation. They should be cut off to 4 1/2 to 5 ft in height. If they still don’t come out, cut them back a little more.

Usually trees planted on into March have more of a problem with this than trees planted earlier because they haven’t been able to get their roots established before temperatures warm and water demand increases. So, if you have newly planted trees that haven’t leafed out yet, scrape the trunk to make sure its green under the thin bark and then cut them back some more. This will relieve the pressure that root system is under and allow them to grow more vigorously.

AgFax Weed Solutions


If you see the leaves scorching right now, particularly if the scorching is on leaves that haven’t quite unfolded, usually on the tips or edges of the leaf and/or you are seeing some holes chewed in the leaves, sometimes with a little light webbing in place, it is most likely budmoth. I’ve run into this several times over the last couple of days.

You will need to treat with chlorpyrifos to kill active budmoth caterpillars or treat with Intrepid or Intrepid Edge, which will both give a longer residual than chlorpyrifos. When spraying chlorpyrifos be sure not to concentrate it too heavily as you mix it and spray it on the foliage. 2.4 oz per 10 gallons is plenty. For Intrepid, 1 oz per 10 gallons is plenty.


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