Nut Trees for Hot Dry
These green pistachios will ripen in the Fall. In
the meantime the tree provides ample shade.
The endless sunshine
in a hot, dry
climate creates a welcoming environment for nut and fruit trees.
The nut trees, in particular, add refreshing shade to a garden,
as you can see in our photo essay on an extraordinary
Some of these trees need "Winter Chill",
a specific length of time when temperatures are under 45 degrees
F in order to produce fruit. Freezing temperatures, however, may
quickly damage these and all other fruit trees.
For Fruit Trees suitable for desert
click here. For Fast Growing Trees,
The Best Nut Tree Trio
vera) does well especially in the mid to high desert areas.
The winters in the low desert (Phoenix or Palm Springs) may not
be cold enough; they need about 1000 hours of winter chilling to
produce nuts. Pistachios need both a male and female trees for
pollination. The 'Peters' is the most commonly planted male
tree; the 'Kerman' the best female variety. They grow to 25 to
30 feet tall and take 5 to 8 years to begin producing nuts. They
prefer well-drained soil and lots of summer sun. Deep, very
infrequent watering after the trees are established. Watering
too often will produce root rot. To harvest the nuts, use a tarp
on the ground and shake the tree in early autumn.
NOTE: There are also ornamental
pistachio trees in nurseries, so be sure to buy the ones that
dulcis) love hot, dry summer weather. The recommended
variety for home gardens is the semi-dwarf 'All-In-One' which
self-pollinates and grows best in reasonably fast-draining soil.
The large, soft-shelled nuts look like clusters of small green
peaches until late summer when the outer coat peels back to
reveal the almond in its shell. The 'All-In-One' almond tree
reaches 15 feet in height.
The other almond trees that grow well in
the desert are full-size, reaching 20 to 30 feet tall, and
require two varieties to pollinate and produce nuts. If you
select the 'Nonpareil' or the 'Ne Plus Ultra', they will
pollinate each other. The 'All-in-One' will also pollinate both
of these trees. To harvest the nuts, place a tarp on the ground
and shake the trees. Dry fallen nuts in the sun for a day or two
until the nuts inside the shell rattle.
NOTE: during the recent California
drought almond orchards have developed a reputation for being
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illinoisis) round out the mix of nuts that can be grown in
our Southwestern desert climate. Most pecans will produce a
light crop of nuts with just a single tree. For a larger
harvest, plant two of these trees. But be forewarned -- these
are large trees, growing to 70 feet and, unlike the pistachios
or almonds, pecans require regular watering if you want a good
crop of nuts. The best varieties for the desert are the 'Western
Shley', 'Mahan' and 'Wichita'. If your soil has a high salt
content, you should probably choose another tree to plant. The
nuts will fall from the tree when ripe.
For more leafy trees for hot, dry