Pecan grower concerns sweeping south Georgia - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Pecan grower concerns sweeping south Georgia

THOMAS CO., GA (WALB) - Pecan tree leaves are dropping earlier than usual in orchards and small groves around south Georgia, causing grove folks to scratch their heads.

"I cut them up and I said my goodness I won't have any leaves by Fall,” said grove owner Fred Eubanks.

Eubanks isn't the only homeowner concerned about the leaves covering the ground early. Several owners have called agriculture extension agent Andrew Sawyer trying to figure out what's causing the leaves to fall in July instead of October.

"If I get that many calls over a short period, about the same thing, then there has to be something going on that's causing it,” said Sawyer.

After researching the complaints, Sawyer says the early leaf dropping has to do with the abundance of rainfall early in the year clashing with a dry month of June, and a wet July.

"Something like scab disease in a residential setting will expedite the process,” said Sawyer.

Most experts say that too much rain and disease is not just bad for the year it happens, it's bad for the next year too. That concerns Ms. Eubanks, “It just worries me because I wonder if I will have any pecans next year.”

Unfortunately there isn't much that can be done about the leaf dropping since it's an environmental issue, but Eubanks feels a bit more comfortable caring for her dozens of beloved pecan trees knowing that she's not the only one battling the issue.

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