This is a collection of articles dealing with organic gardening, ecology, environmental restoration, news items of interest, travel and just about anything else I find of interest and willing to share with others around the globe. - ENJOY!
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Pecan Tree Volunteer Soaring High Wonderfully Skyward, Thanks to Mycorrhizal Applications
When I think of Pecan Trees, I think of the movie "Lonesome Dove" where Captain Augustus "Gus" McCrae(Robert Duvall) asks Captain Woodrow F. Call(Tommy Lee Jones) to haul his body back to a little grove of Pecan Trees along a creek in Texas. They also bring back to mind my ex-wife's family who were all Texans and the family reunions we used to have in either Ruidoso New Mexico or Sierra Vista Arizona once a year. Sadly, most of the old timers from that family are gone, but much about their culture reminded me of the characters in that movie in a Western sort of way. I also LOVE Pecan Pie if it's made right. It tastes wooooonderful. Anyway, in my Mum's backyard before I left in 2006, a tree volunteered by way of a Scrub Jay and I left it. It germinated in a concrete stone planter we had against a neighbour's block wall. Anyway, I left it. I truly thought nothing would come of it. At time of my departure to Sweden in May 2006, it was approximately 2 foot high. On subsequent visits back here over 4 years from 2006 to 2009, it was up to my height at over 6 foot. The foliage was never spectacular and it looked a bit ragged, so I had already purchased some of Mycorrhizal Applications Inc'sMycoApply multiple species blend of Ecto & Endo Mycorrhizae and beneficial bacteria and so generously inoculated this tree everywhere I figured the feeding root zone would be. Here is the way is looks from 5 Foot three years ago to this resent day.
Photo Credits: Mine!
This is the back back portion of my Mum's yard where no real ornamental landscaping takes place other than fruit trees and garden. Of course all manner of tools and garden equipment also are stored back there. There is a small house out back of the property which is here in the picture and where I stay when I come to visit. The tree has turned out beautifully and produces many Pecan Nuts.
Photo Credit: Mine!
This is a much closer shot of the tree near the gates. The trunk is extremely straight and sturdy and reaching up towards the sky. The foliage is a gorgeous bright shiny green, not like it appeared prior to mycorrhizae inoculation some year back. I utilized MycoApply from Grant Pass Oregon which has a blend of several fungal species and beneficial bacterial spores and with these spores injected into the ground where the feeder roots were located, this trees root absorption and nutrient uptake ability has increased by 200%. This tree is never watered and never shows effects of drought stress.
Photo Credit: Mine!
Here is the actual planter area where as you can see, no one in their right mind would EVER plant a tree seed in such a cramped location. The blocks can be easily relocated to extend outward from the tree if necessary. Notice the Burgandy Bunch grasses on either side ? These were already there when the Pecan seed germinated, but there has been a recent change as of today.
Photo Credit: Mine!
Okay, so here is the planter scene with the Pecan Tree and bunch grasses removed. I have reinoculated the planter and outer foreground where no doubt the feeder roots present reside. I'll just apply some mulch in both the planter and foreground below the wall and water generously only once. The mycorrhizae germination processes will do the rest for me. It's so easy just to walk away.
Photo Credit: Mine!
And here is what the product looks like. MycoApply I purchased from Horizon Irrigation Supply on Engineer road in San Diego, Clairemont off the 805 Freeway to be exact. The cost of this is $28.00 but well worth it. This should last for a year or so, maybe longer. For landscape Supervisors or head gardeners, you should use this specifically and not your employees. Not because it's dangerous, but because they will waste a great effective product by adding way too much and then it's gone. It takes a while and some education to get someone to turn their thinking around to how nature really works. There is so much competition by Celebrities pimping chemical wares for Corporate Giants who will stop at nothing to shove their junk down peoples throats by poisoning their minds with the wrong education.
Photo Credit: Mine!
These are the simple tools I have always used. I use a small Tomato Staking stick to poke the 4 inch holes in the ground for which I use a very tiny spoon (not even a teaspoon) to scoop a tiny bit of spore powder and then back fill with fine soil. Then I lightly deep water, mostly with mulch on the surface to prevent much run off. I have a feeling MycoApply utilizes some humic acids in it's powdered form, no down taken from Leonardite (which is a further oxidation of Lignite, which itself is often known as brown coal). It's effectiveness on plant growth is well known as it will stimulate newer root growth. It's this new root growth which contains that root end cap that pushes through the soil and when mycorrhizae spores come in contact with this root end cap, that is what stimulates germination of the symbiotic fungi which should remain on roots for life in the surrounding soil. However, you'll know it's there by the above ground response of any tree or shrub's luxuriant foliage, health and vigor, as is the case with the turn around of my Mum's volunteer Pecan tree.
Image - Tim Brenneman
Pecan truffles (Tuber lyonii)
One of the most frustrating things in the California News for me to hear are all the fights about California nut producers (Walnuts, Pecans, Almonds, etc) and their need for water. And most Farmers for the most part if traditionnal and using the same practices their Grand Daddy and Daddy did, are often tough nuts to crack (pun intended) when it comes to braking the mould and trying to get them to do something different in their methods of farming and perhaps being more open minded when looking at other ways beyond nut monoculture to make money off their land.
Inocultation of Pecan Tree with Pisolithus tinctorius (Dog Turd Fungus) in 2015
photo is mine from 2015 (Julian CA)
image mine 2015
In 2015 I collected a sack full of dried cured Pisolithus tinctorius ectomycorrhzal truffles or mushrooms south of Julian California along a roadside viewpoint within some of the chaparral plant community. It was like the motherlode of a mushroom find. The largest was this one on the right where you see a quarter or 25¢ piece. Pecans are ectomycorrhizal and even though I inoculated with MycoApply, in 2013, I heavily inoculated with these specific ectomycorrhizae in 2015 that I had collected on my visit that summer. This year, 2017, my mum said that this same tree above has doubled in width and height and is extremely loaded with pecans. An interesting note here is that all the dogs she's ever have loved to eating these pecans. Most nuts can be risky for dogs. But the pecans probably attract them because they are naturally on the sweet side, especially with this tree. Plus this tree's nuts have particularly thin nut shell which are easy to crack. I'm sure birds like ScrubJays are already harvesting them and hiding them somewhere in nut caches like they did originally with this tree which volunteered. When I do acquire an updated photo (maybe Spring 2018), I'll post it for comparison. But the PT Ecto-mycorrhizal fungi have clearly made the difference, coupled with the heavier than normal rainfall amounts this past winter (2016/2017). Below is a video of a pecan nut collector. Rather ingenius and very simple.
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