Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ice Storms Devastating To Pecan Orchards

Date:
March 31, 2009
Source:
American Society for Horticultural Science
Summary:
Ice storms and other severe weather can have devastating impacts on pecan trees. Typical damage, cleanup, and recovery from four ice storms that hit the region from 2000 to 2007 were reported in a recent study. Trees less than 15 feet tall typically had the least damage; trees 15 to 30 feet tall incurred as much or more damage than larger trees and cleanup costs were greater.

This is the aftermath of an ice storm in a pecan grove near Eufaula, Okla.
Credit: Photo by O.B.

Ice storms and other severe weather can have devastating impacts on agricultural crops, including perennial tree crops. Major ice storms occur at least once a decade, with truly catastrophic "icing events" recorded once or twice a century within a broad belt extending from eastern Texas through New England. Ice storms can result in overwhelming losses to orchards and expensive cleanup for producers.

Because the long limbs of pecan trees act as levers and increase the likelihood of breakage, pecan orchards and groves are particularly susceptible to damage from tornadoes, hurricanes, and ice storms. Ice damage is typically more severe in pecan orchards than other orchard crops.

Oklahoma has 85,740 acres of pecans on 2,879 farms. Ice storms struck Oklahoma four times from 2000 through 2007. The crippling ice storm in December 2000, which hit the southeast quarter of Oklahoma, extended into parts of Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas. An estimated 25,000 to 30,000 acres of pecans were damaged in Oklahoma during this storm alone.

Michael W. Smith from the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Oklahoma State University, and Charles T. Rohla of the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation published a research report in the latest issue of HortTechnology that provides pecan producers, government agencies, and insurance companies with important information concerning orchard management and economics following destructive ice storms.

Cleanup of pecan orchards following ice damage presents enormous challenges for producers. Typical damage, cleanup, and recovery from four ice storms that hit the region from 2000 to 2007 were reported in the study. Trees less than 15 feet tall typically had the least damage; trees 15 to 30 feet tall incurred as much or more damage than larger trees and cleanup costs were greater.

The silver lining: pecan trees are resilient. Most trees can survive and eventually return to productivity following loss of most of their crown. But cleanup costs to ice-damaged pecan orchards are high, ranging from $207 to $419 per acre based on the dollar value in 2008. According to the researchers, these costs were consistent among orchards where the owner supervised the labor and had the resources to obtain equipment necessary to prune and remove debris from the orchard. The cleanup costs paid to "custom operators" for renovating orchards following ice storms were significantly more expensive, ranging from $500 to $800 per acre in 2008 for orchards with similar damage levels.

Explaining the outcomes of the research study, Smith stated; "Following damaging weather events, producers seek information concerning effective cleanup procedures, subsequent management, recovery duration, and economic impact. State and Federal agencies and insurance companies seek guidance concerning economic impact and how to assist producers. Our objective was to provide information for producers and others regarding the impact of an ice storm on pecans."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Horticultural Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Michael W. Smith and Charles T. Rohla. Pecan Orchard Damage and Recovery from Ice Storms. HortTechnology, 19: 5-229 (2009) [link]

Cite This Page:

American Society for Horticultural Science. "Ice Storms Devastating To Pecan Orchards." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090324131456.htm>.
American Society for Horticultural Science. (2009, March 31). Ice Storms Devastating To Pecan Orchards. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090324131456.htm
American Society for Horticultural Science. "Ice Storms Devastating To Pecan Orchards." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090324131456.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Federal researchers are exploring more than a dozen underwater sites where they believe ships sank in the treacherous waters west of San Francisco in the decades following the Gold Rush. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) Mount Paektu volcano in North Korea is showing signs of life and there's not much known about it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins