Skip Navigation and Section Links - Go To Content Your online down home newspaper


Gardening: Pecan Field Day Image

Whether you're a seasoned pro or a novice beginner, being able to successfully graft a pecan tree then watching the new graft "take" never loses its thrill. To learn how, attend the Pecan Grafting Workshop at Carbide Park on Thursday, April 19, from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. Photo Credit: William M. Johnson

Pecan Grafting Workshop set for April 19

By Dr. William M. Johnson, Galveston County Extension Agent - Horticulture

April 18, 2007

Miracles still happen all across Texas during this time of the year because it’s pecan grafting time. The miracle is a person being able to take a native pecan tree or a tree that just does not produce quality nuts and turn it into a wonderful paper shell variety pecan tree through the use of a sharp knife and a stick of grafting wood. I’m talking about the grafting of pecans. The art and science of grafting pecans-and fruit trees as well-is one thing, which really intrigues people.

However, once you give grafting a try and understand the concepts involved, you will realize that the procedure is basically a very simple one. Yet those who have never done it feel that nothing less than a miracle is necessary to create a new tree composed of two distinct parts by simply sticking a dormant stem of one plant onto a stem or branch of another plant. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a novice beginner, being able to successfully graft a pecan or fruit tree then watching the new graft " take" never loses its thrill. Wouldn't it be neat if you could learn how to actually create such miracles with your own two hands?

On Thursday, April 19, from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m., you can attend the Pecan Grafting Workshop activities at Carbide Pecan Orchard in La Marque to learn the how-to's of successful pecan grafting. The Carbide Pecan Orchard is part of Carbide Park which is located on the north side of FM 519 about 1.5 miles west of the intersection of FM 519 and the I-45 Gulf Freeway.

Texans and pecans go together like bees and honey. The pecan is our state tree. Most of the pecan trees in Texas are referred to as natives. Native means that the tree was grown from a nut which was planted and forgotten by a squirrel or was covered and sprouted by nature. Most native pecan trees do not produce large, high quality pecans. To avoid the time delays necessary to grow a pecan tree and to ensure the best varietal characteristics, superior varieties are grafted onto already growing trees.

When grafting limbs of large trees at this time of the year, one of the techniques used is called inlay bark grafting. The technique basically involves the insertion of a dormant piece of wood of the desired variety under the bark of the "stump" of a sawed-off limb on the tree, which is being grafted. Another grafting technique, known as the four-flap, is used when grafting onto small seedling trees and branches of larger trees.

One of the keys to successful pecan grafting is to use high-quality graftwood. In early February, Extension Fruit and Pecan Committee members harvested a limited supply of graftwood representing several varieties recommended for Galveston County. This graftwood will be made available at the field day The Extension Fruit and Pecan Committee sponsors several educational programs through the year for Galveston County residents and expenses are incurred in doing so. A donation of $1.00 per stick of graftwood is requested. Funds will be used to support future educational programs.

Graftwood needs to be kept moist and cool at all times until it is used; so, if possible, bring a cooler and several gallon-sized "zip lock" plastic bags. For further information, contact the County Extension Office (281-534-3413, Ext. 1-2) or visit my website provided at the end of this column for more information and a downloadable map (click on the Extension Educational Programs link). Come out to learn the techniques of grafting so you can make and nurture your own creation that you can be personally proud of for many, many years to come.

GARDENING Q&A Question: I am concerned that many of standard insecticides that I have used over the years are being taken off the market. The stores seemed to be filled with ones I have never heard of or read about. Are they as good as the ones before? Answer: The only thing that is constant is change. Over the past few years many of our more popular insecticides, such as lindane, dursban and diazinon, have been removed from the marketplace. They are being replaced with products from Bayer, Ortho, Spectracide, and other companies and are being sold as general-use or all-purpose type sprays. They contain a class of insecticides known as pyrethroids. These chemicals are known for their ability to control insects at low rates. The marketplace is full of new pyrethroids with names like cyfluthrin, permethrin, esfenvalerate, and tralomethrin. They are found under various trade names. They work quite well for the pests for which they are labeled.

Question: Last year, the leaves on my azaleas developed a bleached-out appearance and the underside of the leaves was covered with black tar-like spots. What causes this?

Answer: Azaleas are susceptible to damage caused by an insect called a lace bug. Damage results from the insect sucking out cell sap, resulting in mottling of the leaf. The black tar spots are actually the insect's excrements (frass). Control on azaleas can be accomplished with the use of recommended insecticides such as those containing a pyrethroid or mixture of pyrethroids as the active ingredient.

Dr. Johnson is a horticulturist with the Galveston County Extension Office of Texas Cooperative Extension, Texas A&M University. Visit his web site at

Gardening: Scale insects and pampas grass - July 17, 2004 article

Gardening: Bananas - August 1, 2004 article

Gardening: August Gardening Calendar - August 16, 2004 article

Gardening: Trio Of Extension Programs Includes Pear Tasting, Master Naturalist Class & Rose Seminar - August 20, 2004 article

Gardening: Prepare Now For Fall Gardens - August 26, 2004 article

Gardening: September's Garden Calendar Includes Fall Pecan Field Day - September 2, 2004 article

Gardening: Ornamental Grasses - September 8, 2004 article

Gardening: Don't Let Landscape Become A High-Maintenance Nightmare - September 22, 2004 article

Gardening: Oct. 10 Plant Sale & Seminar To Feature Butterfly Gardening - Butterflies Bring Color, Motion to Garden - October 2, 2004 article

Gardening: Plant It And They Will Come: Getting the Butterflies of Galveston County to Grace Your Yard - October 2, 2004 article

Gardening: Rose Propagation & Seasonal Decorating Workshops To Be Held - October 13, 2004 article

Gardening: Extension Office To Sponsor Open House On October 29, Seasonal Decorations and Onion and Garlic Workshops - October 20, 2004 article

Gardening: Extension Office To Sponsor Open House On October 29 and County Pecan Show - October 27, 2004 article

Gardening: November Is Pansy Time - November 6, 2004 article

Gardening: County Pecan Growers Display Their Successes - November 11, 2004 article

Gardening: Gardeners' Questions On Fall Crops - November 17, 2004 article

Gardening: Gardeners' Q&As For November - November 28, 2004 article

Gardening: Gardeners' December Checklist Includes Citrus Show On Dec. 9 - December 3, 2004 article

Gardening: Citrus Show A Huge Success With 185 Entries - December 19, 2004 article

Gardening: Trees and Shrubs - December 23, 2004 article

Gardening: Cold Weather Impact - January 4, 2005 article

Gardening: Gardeners' Checklist For January Includes Several Educational Programs - January 7, 2005 article

Gardening:Announcing the 2005 Galveston County Master Gardener Training - January 13, 2005 article

Gardening:Peach & Plum Growers' Workshop To Be Held Saturday, January 29 - January 19, 2005 article

Gardening: Gardening for Texas Wildlife - January 28, 2005 article

Gardening: Wide Variety of Citrus to Be Available at February 5 Fruit Tree Sale and Home Citrus Production - January 31, 2005 article

Gardening: Fruit Trees Of The Gods Featured In February 5 Master Gardener Plant Sale - February 2, 2005 article

Gardening: "If I Were A Tomato, I Would Want To Be Grown In Texas . . . Galveston County, That Is!" Workshop to be held February 12 - February 9, 2005 article

Gardening: February Is Rose Pruning Time...Attend Rose Care Seminar to Learn How - February 16, 2005 article

Gardening: Extension Activities At The Home & Garden Show On Feb. 26-27 - February 23, 2005 article

Gardening: March Gardening Calendar Includes Seminar On Butterfly Gardening - March 2, 2005 article

Gardening: Gardeners' Q&As From The Galveston Home & Garden Show - March 10, 2005 article

Gardening: Extension Offers Program On "Living To Be 100 . . . A Commonsense Approach." - March 16, 2005 article

Gardening: Program On Plumeria Offered On March 26- March 29, 2005 article

Gardening: Garden Checklist For April Includes Pecan Field Day - April 6, 2005 article

Gardening: Hints On Harvesting Vegetables For Peak Flavor - April 15, 2005 article

Gardening: Fresh Blueberries From Your Home Garden Seminar On Saturday, April 23 - April 22, 2005 article

Gardening: Learn About Weed Control - April 27, 2005 article

Gardening: Home Gardening Chores and May 14 Home Fruit Growers’ Tour - May 5, 2005 article

© 2004-2006
League City Area News Online.
All rights reserved.
The opinions expressed in this or any other column are those of the author, not the League City Area News Online or its staff or any of its affiliates. Any and all responses to any of the columnists are welcome.
Web design by Webmaster
Marilyn Clark.
Send comments and Letters to the Editor to:
League City Area News Online, P. O. Box 1693, League City, Texas 77574-1693

Please include your address and phone number for verification purposes.
Send e-mail to the Webmaster if there are problems with the web site.