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Old 01-04-2011, 08:54 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
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My mother lives in SE MO and has 2 large pecan trees in her yard. Last year she didn't get any off of them--we don't know whether that was due to it being an off year or whether it was the ice storm they got that spring but there were none.

This year the trees were loaded. By late August we were all salivating over all those plump pecans and planning on what we were going to cook with them, but by the end of September they were all gone. Just vanished! My mother, who has impending dementia, thinks they were stolen but I don't think anyone is dumb enough to come in and vacuum off of a tree of unripe pecans--if that's even possible. Then there was the squirrel theory but it doesn't seem as if there's any more of the critters than usual and there were so many pecans on those trees that it would be obvious if there were enough squirrels to carry them off. Then I thought maybe worms or a fungus, but there were no hollow pecans laying on the ground as evidence. I must admit that we're run out of ideas. Anyone care to speculate? The trees still look healthy.
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:57 PM
 
Location: Norwood, Massachusetts
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My money is on the squirrels. I have three pecan trees and they take all the pecans before they are ripe. They love 'em green.
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:19 PM
 
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Pecan trees I saw in central MO were dropping nuts by the 1st week of September. If there were no husks or anything present anywhere I'd say someone may have helped themselves. Otherwise, yes, squirrels are suspect.
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Old 01-05-2011, 03:30 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
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Well I guess I'd lay my money on the squirrel theory too but those trees were loaded and she didn't get any. Seems like the army of squirrels would have left some. We're usually picking them up all the way to Thanksgiving, so it does seem odd.
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Old 01-05-2011, 03:55 PM
 
Location: Buffalo, New York
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Never underestimate squirrels. This past summer I watched 3 squirrels eat most of my black walnuts. A older one and two younger ones. The ones I did manage to get were the ones they dropped trying to get off the tree. At first when the tree was loaded they wouldn't bother running down and getting them. But later on when the pickings were slim if they dropped they would hurry down and grab them and run back up the tree. Towards the end of the season they eat non stop.
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Old 01-05-2011, 04:11 PM
 
Location: Marion, IN
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Another vote for squirrels, especially if they went hungry last year because they didn't have enough "squirreled away".
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Old 01-05-2011, 07:17 PM
 
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LOL - I have enjoyed watching squirrels harvest the pecans on a tree in my yard. They are very busy gathering and flipping their tails before taking a run to the end of a limb that allows them to jumb to another tree. The only nuts that will be found on the ground are not worth picking up. Humans could never have done such a thorough job.

I'm voting for the squirrels.
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Old 01-05-2011, 07:48 PM
 
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If your mother has dementia, is it possible that she allowed someone to harvest them? Pecans are harvested from the ground, but many trees have to be shaken to get them all down. If you're only talking about 1 or 2 trees, that would not take someone with a tree shaker and a vacuum very long to harvest.
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:02 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sskkc View Post
If your mother has dementia, is it possible that she allowed someone to harvest them? Pecans are harvested from the ground, but many trees have to be shaken to get them all down. If you're only talking about 1 or 2 trees, that would not take someone with a tree shaker and a vacuum very long to harvest.
Yes, but she lives with my grandmother who is clear as can be, so that wouldn't be it. I'm guessing I'd better get my .22 cleaned out and have me some squirrel stew then. Still, we have gotten a lot of pecans off of the trees in years past, so the squirrel population would really have to have grown, which doesn't seem likely in the year after there were none.

BTW--I saw the oddest sight one day--a squirrel was headed up a tree with a vole in its mouth. I looked them up and found that squirrels are little meat eaters and will rob bird nests to eat the baby birds. Hmm.
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Old 01-06-2011, 07:07 AM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,309 posts, read 34,427,038 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowGirl View Post
My money is on the squirrels. I have three pecan trees and they take all the pecans before they are ripe. They love 'em green.
My family had a small pecan orchard when I was growing up and squirrels are incredibly destructive to pecan crops.

They can strip a tree bare before any ripe pecans have fallen from their pods and you may not ever see them at work.

I'm betting on squirrels also.

If your mother's trees stand away from other trees and far enough from the house to preclude a squirrel jumping from it, trunk baffles will be effective. Otherwise, kill them and keep killing them until they, as a group, figure out that they are getting killed in those pecan trees.

Last edited by jimboburnsy; 01-06-2011 at 07:16 AM..
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