Table of Contents
Growing Brazil nut Ttrees – Do you ever receive one of those mixed bags of unshelled nuts from your grocery store? If this is the case, you are most likely acquainted with Brazil nuts, which are technically not classified as nuts by botanical definition. What exactly are Brazil nuts, and what additional Brazil nut tree information can we find out about them?
Brazil nut trees (Bertholletia excelsa) are the only species in the monotypic genus Bertholletia, which was named after the French chemist Claude Louis Berthollet. Brazil nut trees (Bertholletia excelsa) are the only species in the monotypic genus Bertholletia. They are endemic to particular sections of the Amazon and may grow to a height of 160 feet (49 meters) and a width of up to 6 feet (1.8 meters). They can live for 500 years or more and can reach heights of up to 6 feet (1.8 meters).
The bark is smooth and grey in color, and the leaves are dry-season deciduous in appearance. Flowers are formed in panicles, with each flower having a two-part deciduous calyx, six cream-colored petals, and a swarm of stamens arranged in a hooded mass at the base of the flower.
Once pollinated, it takes around 14 months for the fruit to develop. The resultant fruit grows fairly large (4-6 inches (10-15 cm) wide and up to 5 pounds (2.3 kg) in weight), and it has a similar appearance to a coconut endocarp in appearance. 8–24 clearly triangular seeds are contained inside the hard, woody shell, which is arranged in a manner similar to orange segments. Brazil nuts are the seeds that are used to refer to this kind of nut. Nuts are essentially hard-shelled, indehiscent fruits, similar to acorns in terms of botanical classification.
Facts about Brazil Nut Trees
The end of this fruit capsule has a hole in it, which enables the indigenous agouti to eat the fruit with their teeth. They then consume some seeds and, like our squirrels, bury some of them for later consumption. Some of the buried seeds germinate and sprout into new Brazil nut trees. Although it seems that this is a straightforward way of reproduction, the reality is that the seed may have been buried in a darkened place and may have remained in stasis for years until the surrounding trees die and fall, enabling sunlight to reach the location where the seed is buried.
In Brazil, it is against the law to take down one of these trees. They may now be found in people’s backyards, along streets, and on highways, when they were formerly restricted to regions of undisturbed forest alone.
Certain bees from the genera Bombus, Centris, Epicharis, Eulaema, and Zylocopa must be present in order for the blooms to be pollinated in order for the fruit to be produced, however. When it comes to disturbed forest regions, these large-bodied bees are almost non-existent. As a result, while Brazil tree farms have been tried, natural culture has been shown to be more dependable in terms of yield and consistency.
However, despite its common moniker, Bolivia, where the nut is known as nuez de Brasil, is the world’s greatest supplier of Brazil nuts. Brazil nuts are a key source of revenue for both rural Bolivians and rural Brazilians, who gather and sell them to supplement their incomes. In many places of the Amazon, the harvesting of naturally occurring Brazil trees has reduced deforestation as a result of the harvesting of these trees.
Commercial cultivation, as previously said, has proved to be a fruitless venture. Brazil nut cultivation, on the other hand, is not completely out of the question. Continue reading to learn more about how to cultivate Brazil nuts.
How to Plant and Grow Brazil Nut Trees
Growing your own Brazil nuts will take time and patience, but it is a gratifying activity that will pay off in the long run. To begin with, you’ll need to collect some Brazil nuts. If you pick them from the bag of mixed un-shelled nuts that I indicated earlier, you will not be able to propagate them. Those nuts have been cooked as part of the processing that they have undergone. The boiling process will destroy the seed, making it ineffective.
You may either purchase adequate seed stock from an internet nursery or, if you reside in the Amazon, you can harvest straight from the rain forest. If you are buying healthy, raw seeds for planting rather than consuming, make sure you ask the right questions. Once you’ve gotten the seed, soak it in water for 24 hours to remove the husk on the outside of the seed.
Remove the seeds from the water and rinse them. Once the seeds have been soaked, rinse them well and continue the procedure every 8 hours until the seeds have sprouted. As soon as the seeds have sprouted, transfer them to a container containing nutrient-dense potting soil, such as a transparent glass jar that is 2/3 full. Fill the hole in the middle of the dirt with the seed and press it down into the soil.
Place a layer of earth on top of it and allow the sprouting end to peek through the soil. Make sure the soil is wet and that it stays that way. Cover the jar with gauze or cheesecloth and tie it with a rubber band to keep it from opening. Periodically examine the container for growth and dryness in a warm, well-ventilated place with indirect sunlight.
When the seedling is 6–12 inches (15–30 cm) tall, transplant it to a location that receives full sun, has well-draining soil, and has high humidity and temperatures consistent with tropical climates.