How we saved our pecan harvest from the crows – and you can too!

This week crows in our area are celebrating their annual ripening-of-the-pecans-feast!  They land in several tall pecan trees in our neighborhood cawing and having a good old-time.  The good news is – this year, they aren’t as interested in our pecan tree as they have been before!

Here’s why they’re more interested in the neighbors trees instead.

It started when we lost of most of our pecans to the crows last year.  They ate pecans from the top branches where many of the nuts were growing, and we could only watch because we couldn’t even reach the pecans.  They were free for the crows to take – and they took them.  That’s when we realized we had to trim the height of the tree so the pecans wouldn’t be growing up so high we can’t reach them.  It seems obvious in hindsight, doesn’t it? Well, here are some before and after pictures:

The Pecan Tree in 2014, before we trimmed off about 1/3 of the height.
The Pecan Tree in 2014, before we trimmed off about 1/3 of the height.

We waited until winter, when the tree was leafless and dormant. It took us less than an hour to trim 1/3 of the height.  We lopped off the vertically growing branches and kept the more horizontal branches.

It didn’t hurt the tree at all – in fact, the tree grew wider and fuller this year.    Now the nuts are at our level and we can get to them as soon as they begin to ripen, thus giving us a fair chance against the crows!  We will trim the tall vertical branches again this winter, because we are so pleased with the results.

IMG_20150930_140558865
The healthy pecan tree in 2015 after having its height trimmed last winter.
The tree grew fuller and wider and the fruits were in reach.
The tree grew fuller and wider and the fruits were in reach.

Here’s one more shot from another angle.  See how it’s a lot easier for humans to reach now?  The crows did get some pecans this year, but just wait, we’ll be on the ready next year…

Here’s why we love our pecans:

They are delicious and good for you!
They are delicious and good for you!
This was in April 2014.
These beautiful tassels are the tree’s flowers.

We keep the outer skin of the fruit for use as a hair dye.

Here's what pecan fruit looks like when growing on the tree
Here’s what pecan fruit looks like when growing on the tree

I discovered it works as a dye by using this highly scientific method:  It stained my fingers when I was peeling the fruits off of the nuts so strongly that the stain wouldn’t wash off for weeks – no matter what I tried.  I went ahead and stained my fingers again today, so I could show you a picture.  My thumb got the most juice on it as you can see.

Pecan Fruit juice will stain your skin and hair dark brown
Pecan Fruit juice will stain your skin and hair dark brown

See the post about natural hair care for details.

Thank you for reading the post and I hope it helps you if you have a problem with crows eating your fruit.

Aloha! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *