Shoots emerge from the bark of a pecan tree in Fort Valley GA, on May 8, 2019.
Hurricane Irma split the tree at Mason Pecan, owned by Thomas Mason who worked with U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) address the farming challenges that resulted from the storm. Two years ago 800 of 2,400 10-year old trees were downed by the wind. Mr. Mason reached to USDA Farm Service Agency’s Tas Smith to help restore operations. The orchard had to be cleared of debris before harvesting the surviving trees. The challenge is raising saplings alongside newly mature 12-year-old trees that require different levels of nutrients and care. This orchard’s yield will be cut by 1/3 until the saplings reach 12 years of age. Along the rows of trees and cover crop, burn sites were used to dispose of the tree cuttings. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung. Original public domain image from Flickr