Question: My pecans’ limbs seem to die back, then they try to regrow, then the whole process happens again. What stops this odd growth pattern?
Answer: That’s pecan rosette, and it’s caused by a lack of available zinc. It occurs west of Interstate 35, where soils are more alkaline. Oddly, this highway divides the state rather accurately from Oklahoma to Mexico. Pecan rosette will occur almost exclusively west of that line. You can add the zinc to the soil, but most of it will be lost to the soil’s alkalinity. It’s much better, instead, to spray the tree with a mixture of a zinc product. Include the zinc with each insecticide or fungicide spray you make during the growing season.