Pecan scab caused by the fungus, Fusicladium Effusum, is a major problem for growers. The current response is to spray fungicides - repeatedly - throughout the growing season. As Permies know, fungus is good (in the soil) and chemicals don't differentiate. Spraying is bad for the soil.
What natural response could one try to combat scab?
I would love to grow a pecan orchard in zone 8b on the Washington coast, but the wet springs are an incubator for the fungus. A crop would likely never set. So as always pick your plants based on the local environmental conditions. However, scab is a problem for pecans everywhere in the US. In doing some reading, some research universities are trying more natural approaches, but I don't hold a lot of faith they will get it right any time soon. What are your thoughts on a sustainable orchard practice to combat fungus in the trees?
;I had a double pecan tree in my backyard in North Carolina - it had been neglected for a long time and had that fungus growing on it, as well as kudzu and poison ivy. Cleared all the crap away from it, pruned a bunch of diseased limbs off (and burned them), took a spade and pruned the root line, then fertilized it with lots of minerals and some composted cow manure. Within two years I was fighting the squirrels for the nuts and the tree resisted the fungus very well the remaining 10 years I was there. It was a lot of work, but it was definitely worth it.
Bill, I have an old pecan (about 50 ft tall) that tries to produce but most of the nuts are small and dry - not worth the effort to shell. Could you tell me what "minerals" you used to rejuvenate your old tree in north Carolina? My tree is very healthy other than the lack of nuts. I've read conflicting opinions about the benefits of adding zinc. I gave it 10-10-10 one year with no results...and if I fix the problem with something else I wonder if I'll need to fertilize every year. I'd rather find a permaculture solution than buying commercial fertilizers.
"To do good, you actually have to do something." -- Yvon Chouinard
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