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How to plant and prune the pistachio tree?

How to plant and prune the pistachio tree?

The characteristics of the pistachio tree

  • Type: fruit tree
  • Height: up to 5m
  • Flower color: Red Yellow
  • Fruit name: pistachio
  • Desired exposure: sunny
  • Type of soil: well drained
  • Foliage: persistent
  • Sanitizing: no
  • Varieties:Pistacia atlantica, pistacia lentiscus, pistacia terebinthus, pistacia vera, pistacia palaestina

Origins and characteristics of the pistachio tree

The pistachio (Pistacia Vera) is one of the nine species belonging to the order of Sapindales and to the family of Anacardiaceae. Native to Asia Minor, it grows mainly in areas with a Mediterranean climate, especially in North Africa and in the south of France. This tree fears cold and harsh winters.

The pistachio tree is distinguished by its deciduous leaves which include between three and five more or less leathery leaflets. The pistachio is very popular for its pistachios, kinds of scented almonds consumed in different forms, as well as for its resin which is used in the composition of the varnish.

It is a shrub that can also be grown for its ornamental aspect.

Pistachio plantation

The pistachio should be planted in well-drained, slightly calcareous soil. It requires good exposure to the sun in order to take advantage of the heat to grow.

It is recommended to plant pistachios in the fall. This allows them to take root more easily until spring. It is advisable to prepare the planting of pistachio trees at least 1 month in advance. For this, it is necessary to dig the hole by means of a loosening and a manure of bottom.

Cultivation and maintenance of the pistachio tree

Pistachio culture is rather easy, and does not require much daily maintenance.

This tree, whose size varies between 3 and 8 meters, supports drought as well as cold. It can indeed withstand temperatures of up to -20 ° C. Beware, however, of the much more moderate frosts which could harm the spring flowering of the pistachio tree, the latter needing mild winter temperatures to produce its fruits, after sowing beforehand in autumn.

The pistachio is drought tolerant, but requires regular watering during its growing season. If there is a lack of water, the pistachio tree will produce fewer pistachios than usual.

The size of the pistachio tree must be done at the beginning of the year, in January or February. It is a tree that heals poorly, so pruning should only be done if it is necessary. Be satisfied with a light pruning, which allows you to remove dead wood and maintain a certain branching of the branches.

Diseases and pests of pistachio

The main pests that attack the pistachio are spider mites and aphids.

Pistachio harvest

Its seeds, pistachios, perfectly complement an aperitif. Obtaining seeds is quite difficult. Pistacia vera is dioecious, the synchronization of flowering of male pistachio and female pistachio is essential for production.

To get the pistachio flower, it is therefore necessary to cross-pollinate and obligatorily to plant a male tree and a female. If flowering does not occur at the same time, it will be necessary to use artificial pollination by collecting the male inflorescences to spray the pollen on the female flowers

Properties of pistachio and pistachios

Pistachios are very rich in copper, magnesium and potassium and they contain many proteins. Scientifically known as Pistacia Lentiscus, the pistachio lentisk is at the origin of a powerful essential oil with antiseptic, painkiller, toning, stimulating and decongestant properties for the respiratory, venous, lymphatic and even prostatic tracts. Thus, it is indicated to treat hyperemia, varicose veins and heavy legs.