These baby owls are monitored by the grower to make sure they’re thriving. When grown, they’ll be part of the integrated pest control plan, ridding the orchard of vermin.
ANSWER: Pistachio trees take 6-10 years to produce a crop, but they can bear for 100 years or more.
ANSWER: Pistachio trees are wind pollinated, not bee pollinated.
ANSWER: It takes two trees to produce pistachios—a male and female. One male tree can fertilize up to 40
ANSWER: Greater China is the #1 export market for pistachios, and the European Union is the #2 export market.
ANSWER: Pistachios are grown in California, Arizona, and New Mexico.
ANSWER: There over 300,000-plus acres of pistachios planted in California, Arizona, and New Mexico.
ANSWER: Ninety-nine percent of U.S. pistachios are grown in California.
ANSWER: Harvest season normally begins in late August and lasts through the end of October.
ANSWER: Pistachios are mechanically harvested; the trees are shaken. Pistachios that fall to the ground are not
harvested but are tilled into the soil.
ANSWER: A one-ounce serving of pistachios equals 49 nuts (and 160 calories)— more per serving than
any other snack nut.
The pistachio tree (pistacia vera) originated in western Asia and Asia Minor, made its way into Mediterranean Europe and now thrives in the dry climates of the American west. Advanced production technologies, efficient harvesting and sophisticated growing techniques now make the United States #1 in global commercial production.
Harvest takes place anywhere from late August to early October. Between 5 and 7 years of age, the pistachio tree begins bearing fruit (yes, it’s a drupal). A biennial bearer (a heavy crop one year and little crop the next), there appears to be no upper age limit to a tree’s viability. Once ripened, the nuts are quickly harvested, cleaned, sorted and roasted for the perfect snack or for ingredient usage.
Nature decides when it’s time to harvest pistachios. In the American West, harvest occurs in September or October when the fruit is mature and the shell has split. For American Pistachio Growers, the year’s work culminates in the highly coordinated effort between our member growers and processors to harvest and deliver the crop quickly and efficiently. This process ensures the highest quality pistachios year after year, as shown in this video.
Meet some of the farming families who grow your favorite little green nut. With more than 450 members, we will continuously add families to this section. Welcome to our world!