Alphabetical Plant Listing

Pistacia vera (Pistachio)

Pistachio, Fustuq, Green Almond


Prized for its edible nuts, Pistacia vera (Pistachio) is a small deciduous tree of spreading growth habit, adorned with a low canopy of compound, pinnate, gray-green leaves divided into 5 oval leaflets. Pistachio is dioecious, with separate male and female trees. Blooming in spring, male and female flowers are brownish-green and lack petals. The female flowers are followed by heavy clusters of soft, reddish husks that contain the hard-shelled pistachio nuts. The shell splits along its long axes when mature. Nuts are ready to harvest when the hull separates easily from the shell.

Pistachio trees are wind pollinated and require the planting of both male and female trees for successful pollination and fruit production. Long-lived (several hundred years), they reach maximum fruit production after about 20 years. Pistachio trees grow best in areas with a long hot summer (they do not tolerate humidity) and cold winter as the trees have a chilling requirement of minimum of 1,000 chilling hours. In order to have best production it is important to meet the required chilling hours.

  • Grows up to 25-30 ft. tall and wide (7-9 m).
  • A full sun lover, this tree is easily grown in organically rich, dry to moist, well-drained soils. Excellent drainage is critical. Drought tolerant, Pistachio trees can be grown on a wide range of soils, including rocky or stony soils, without irrigation but trees will perform best in well draining, deep sandy loams.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Keep an eye out for crown rot, armillaria, root rot and verticillium wilt.
  • Usually propagated by budding on to a suitable pistachio rootstock. Budding is usually carried out in the fall with the budded tree being planted the same year or the following year depending on the size of the seedling.
  • Newly budded pistachio trees will not begin to produce fruit for five years and will not reach maximum production until the twelfth year.
  • Native of southwestern and central Asia.

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Requirements

Hardiness 7 – 11
Climate Zones 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21
Plant Type Fruit, Trees
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 25' – 30' (7.5m – 9m)
Spread 25' – 30' (7.5m – 9m)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Fruit & Berries
Tolerance Drought

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By Jessica Hyde, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 7 – 11
Climate Zones 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21
Plant Type Fruit, Trees
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 25' – 30' (7.5m – 9m)
Spread 25' – 30' (7.5m – 9m)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Fruit & Berries
Tolerance Drought

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