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Pistachio nut trees are now receiving a great deal of attention. It’s not only that they have the lowest calorie count of all the nuts; they’re also high in phytosterols, antioxidants, unsaturated fat (the healthy kind), carotenoids and other antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, fiber, and are simply tasty. Nothing I can think of will persuade someone who doesn’t already want to cultivate pistachio nut trees to do so.
There are 11 different species of pistachio nut trees, with only one of them, Pistacia vera, being commercially farmed. It is unclear where the pistachio nut tree originated, but it is possible that it was in Central Asia. Growing pistachio trees for commercial purposes for nut export is mostly done in Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Italy, and Syria, where the dry environment is ideal for the growth of the plants.
How to Grow a Pistachio Tree (with Pictures)
Growing pistachio nut trees requires a favorable climate, with daytime temperatures exceeding 100 degrees F (38 degrees C) being the most favorable for the crop. Pistachios also need chilly winter months in order to finish their dormant phase – temperatures of 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius) or below. Furthermore, pistachio nut trees do not thrive at high altitudes owing to the chilly temperatures, nor do they thrive anyplace where the temperature drops below 15 degrees F. (-9 degrees C.).
Therefore, it is rather particular about the temperature at which it operates. Pistachio nut trees, on the other hand, grow well in all soil types, although they flourish the most in deep, sandy loam. Soil with good drainage is essential, as is rarely deep watering if at all feasible. Additionally, they are drought-resilient but do not fare well in high-humidity environments.
Additional Care of Pistachio Nut Trees
The first three to five years of a pistachio tree’s life are best spent growing it in pots before transplanting it into the garden. Pistachio trees are long-lived, have a huge tap root, and may grow up to 20 to 30 feet (6–9 meters) tall. Trees in the garden or orchard should be spaced 20 feet (6 meters) apart to provide a healthy environment. Because pistachio nut plants are dioecious, it is necessary to plant both male and female trees in order to produce a decent crop set.
Pollination occurs by the wind dissemination of pollen, which typically occurs during the early and mid-April months. Stormy springs have the potential to negatively impact crop set by interfering with pollination.
Planting and Pruning Pistachio Trees
Because pistachio trees are categorized as fruit trees, trimming them is essential to ensure that they produce superior quality fruit while also maintaining control over their development. In April of the first growing season, pick the three to five branches you desire to utilize as scaffold branches or as the principal framework of your pistachio tree, depending on the age of the tree. Cut all branches below the lowest branch, which should be 24 to 32 inches (61-81 cm) above the earth and evenly spread around the trunk but not across from each other.
Remove any higher branches that will shade the tree trunk, and compress those that are not scaffolded to a distance of 4 to 6 inches (10–15 cm) from the trunk to keep them from shading the tree trunk. Then, in June, cut the scaffold branches to a length of 2 to 3 feet (61–91 cm) to encourage side branching while allowing the lateral shoots to help shade the stem as the tree develops.
If you use secondary scaffold branches to support the core structure as the tree gets bigger, you may keep it open and airy. Two to three times a year is recommended, with summer pruning taking place in the spring and summer and dormant pruning taking place in the autumn.