Hickory- Dropping Nuts and Leaves

Q: I have two big hickory trees in my front yard. One is incredibly messy, with four wheelbarrows full of nuts dropping on the street and driveway so far this year. The other hickory seems to not drop anything. Is there anything I can do to relieve the messiness of the hickory that overhangs the street and driveway?

A: This may be one of those mysteries of gardening that has no good answer. Nut trees normally have an “on year – off year” cycle of bearing because they exhaust themselves when producing a heavy crop. They use the next year to recover, and deliver only a light crop. That doesn’t explain why two trees in the same landscape bear in such a different manner. Other than differences in their individual root systems, I have no way to explain your phenomenon. You could theoretically halt nut production completely by spraying the tree with Florel when it flowers but your trees are probably too big to spray completely.