I'm Andy Sherrod, Orchard Manager at Royalty Pecans Farm. Many of our customers have been curious about the health of the pecan trees after the freeze that we experienced last February. The freeze was unprecedented. There were nine straight days of sub-freezing temperature - that's 205 hours of temperatures below 32 degrees.
Thankfully, the trees came out of the freeze extremely well. We did not lose a single tree. And out of the 13,000 trees on the farm, our Orchard Manager found no evidence of any freeze damage in the canopy.
As a matter of fact, the trees seem to have enjoyed the cold weather. Pecans naturally alternate bear. This means that they'll put on a large crop one year and a smaller crop the next. Well, last year, 2020, was an “on” year and the orchard produced a large crop. A lighter crop was expected this year, but that’s not the case! Royalty Pecan Farms is experiencing another “on” year. It’s unknown if this is the result of the cold weather.
However, the dewberries in the area also had a bumper crop as well. Is there something about ultra-cold weather that sparks these perennial plants to produce more flowers, more reproductive buds, and bigger crops? There are a lot of people in the industry asking that same question. Our orchard is not the only one experiencing back-to-back “on” years; many orchards in Texas have reported the same thing. So the trees came out extremely well as a result of the freeze and we'll have plenty of pecans for you to enjoy this fall.