- Zone 7 Nut Trees: Choosing Nut Trees For Zone 7 Climates
- About Zone 7 Nut Trees
- Choosing Nut Trees For Zone 7 Climates
- Pecan Grow Guide: Go nuts!
- Hardy Pecan
- Tons of Delicious Pecans!
- Planting & Care
- Botanical Facts About 8 Different Nuts
- Zone 3 Tree Nuts: What Nut Trees That Grow In Cold Climates
- Growing Nut Trees in Zone 3
- Almond Trees and USDA Hardiness Zones
Zone 7 Nut Trees: Choosing Nut Trees For Zone 7 Climates
With winter lows of 0-10 degrees F. (-18 to -12 C.), zone 7 gardens have many options of edibles to grow in the garden. We often think of garden edibles as only fruits and vegetable plants, and overlook the fact that some of our beautiful shade trees also produce nutritious nuts that we could be harvesting. For example, acorns were once a staple food for many Native American tribes. While most recipes these days don’t call for acorns, there are many other edible nut trees that we can add to the landscape. This article will discuss what nut trees grow in zone 7.
About Zone 7 Nut Trees
The hardest thing about growing nuts in zone 7, or anywhere, is having patience. Different kinds of nut trees can take several years to mature enough to bear nuts. Many nut trees also require a pollinator to produce fruit. So while you may have a hazelnut tree or pecan tree in your yard, it may never produce nuts if there isn’t a compatible pollinator nearby.
Before purchasing and planting zone 7 nut trees, do your homework so you can select the best trees for your specific needs. If you plan to sell your home and move in the next 5-10 years, it won’t do you much good to plant a nut tree that can’t produce nuts for 20 years. If you have a small urban yard, you may not have the room to add two large nut trees, as required for pollination.
Choosing Nut Trees For Zone 7 Climates
Below are common nut trees for zone 7, as well as their pollinator needs, time until maturity and some popular varieties.
Almond – Many self-pollinating varieties are available. Almonds can be shrubs or trees and usually only take 3-4 years before they produce nuts. Popular varieties include: All-In-One and Hall’s Hardy.
Chestnut – Pollinator is required. Chestnuts mature enough to produce nuts in 3-5 years. They also make lovely shade trees. Popular varieties include: Auburn Homestead, Colossal, and Eaton.
Hazelnut/Filbert – Most varieties require a pollinator. Hazelnut/Filberts can be a large shrub or tree, depending on variety. They may take 7-10 years to produce fruit. Popular varieties include: Barcelona, Casina, and Royal Filbert.
Heartnut – Heartnut is a Japanese White walnut that produces nuts that are heart shaped. It requires a pollinator and matures in 3-5 years.
Hickory – Requires a pollinator and 8-10 years until maturity. Hickory makes an excellent shade tree with attractive bark. Missouri Mammoth is a popular variety.
Pecan – Most require a pollinator and 10-20 years until maturity. Pecan also doubles as a large shade tree in zone 7 landscapes. Popular varieties include: Colby, Desirable, Kanza, and Lakota.
Pine Nut – Not commonly thought of as a nut tree, but over twenty different species of Pinus produce edible pine nuts. Popular zone 7 varieties for nuts include Korean Nut and Italian Stone pine.
Walnut – Requires a pollinator. Walnut trees also make nice shade trees. They mature in 4-7 years. Popular varieties include: Champion, Burbank, Thomas, and Carpathian.
As stated above, these are common zone 7 nut trees. Those gardeners who like a challenge may also like to try growing pistachios in zone 7. Some nut growers have had success growing zone 7 pistachio trees by just giving them some extra protection.
Pecan Grow Guide: Go nuts!
Grow Guide for Pecans
Who doesn’t love pecan pie? You CAN grow your own pecan trees. All you need is some land and commitment. (Passion is recommended.)
Pecan trees (carya illinoinensis) take 20 to 25 years to reach full maturity and get 60-100 feet tall, with a spread of 30-50 feet across. But don’t get discouraged yet: Pecan trees started from container grown stock (such as the ones Perfect Plants offers) will begin to produce nuts in as little as 4-8 years. Many people ask us how do pecans grow? This grow guide will teach you everything you need to know about growing pecans.
Select at least two different varieties since fruit set is improved by cross-pollination. Perfect Plants offers no fewer than fourteen differen varieties of pecan trees for sale. We recommend choosing at least one each of Type 1 and Type 2 varieties. Type 1 pecan trees shed pollen first and their flowers are receptive of pollen later in the growing season. Conversely, type 2 pecan trees are receptive to pollen first. Their pecan tree catkins shed pollen later in the season.
Choose a planting spot with full sun and plenty of room. Pecan trees get very large and their root systems run deep and wide, at least twice as wide as the canopy. Space pecan trees 65-80 feet apart, and be careful to stay away from buildings and other trees that could be damaged by falling limbs. They can be planted in most areas of the southeastern United States.
The soil at the planting site should be a well-drained soil with a rich sandy loam and at least 3-5 feet deep with a porous subsoil. Soil pH should be 6.0-7.0. They like neutral to slightly acidic soils. Pecan trees grown in such soils likely will not need any nutrient fertilizers except nitrogen and zinc. If in doubt, have the soil tested to determine what other nutrients you may need to add. If your soil is very dry or very sandy, you will have to irrigate more often. Zinc deficiency is common in some trees.
Pecan tree growth rate is very fast. Some trees can gain up to 3-5 feet per year. Choose a site where your tree will be able to stay for many years to come.
Amling: A type 1 pollinator that is extremely easy to grow with low maintenance. A hybrid variety that provides great shade. Highest recommended pecan tree by UGA.edu
Cape fear pecans
Cape Fear: Starts producing it’s high-quality nuts relatively early in it’s life cycle. Exhibits rigorous and upright growth and is extremely disease resistant. A type 1 pollinator.
Creek: Incredibly productive and the most disease resistant variety. To ensure high nut quality, pruning during the early years in necessary. A type 1 pollinator.
Caddo: Has one of the highest yield potentials of all pecan trees. Type 1 pollinator and thrives in both heat and cold hardy environments. A very versatile fruit tree that is excellent for home yards.
Desirable: A perfect contender for southern states due to its heat resistance and self-sufficient tendencies. This type 1 pollinator does have a flaw though- most pecan scab susceptible cultivar (fungicides are necessary). As the nut tree matures it exhibits higher yield.
Elliot: This type 2 pollinator exhibits delicious tasting nuts and is an easy at-home grower. Incredibly scab and disease-resistant characteristics make this a low maintenance tree.
Kanza pecans already shelled
Kanza: Incredibly disease resistant, heat/cold tolerant, and shade-providing pecan cultivar! This type 2 pollinator has high yields with delicious tasting nuts and golden kernels.
Kiowa: This precocious variety is also low maintenance and displays large, hearty nuts and kernels. A type 2 pollinator that has good resistance to disease and starts producing heavily at a young age.
Lakota: A new nut variety that is renowned for high nut quality, high yield potential, early nut maturity, and excellent tree strength. It is also very disease resistant making it a great addition to your pecan family. A type 2 pollinator.
Mandan pecan kernel
Mandan: This type 1 pollinator offers high nut quality, exceptional yield potential, scab and disease resistance, early nut maturity and enormous tree strength—what more could you ask for from a pecan tree?
McMillan: High, sustained levels of production and excellent pest resistance. This type 2 pollinator produces well early in life and proves to be an excellent homeowner variety.
Oconee pecan kernels
Oconee: Excellent yield potential compared to other varieties. Fairly low maintenance, moderately scab, and disease resistant. Type 1 pollinator.
Pawnee: Type 1 pollinator is extremely heat tolerant making it great for the Southern states. It matures early and is pest/disease resistant making it one of the most popular and loved pecan trees in the US.
Stuart: An old, time favorite grown for its low-maintenance qualities such as less pruning and training compared to other varieties. This type 2 pollinator will take a little more time to start producing nuts.
Sumner pecan kernels
Sumner: Strong tree provides high yields in large sizes. This pecan cultivar is scab and disease resistant and is an ideal choice for backyard planting. Type 2 pollinator.
Zinner: This type 2 pollinator needs plenty of room to grow and can reach heights of 70 feet high and 50 feet wide as a mature tree. Scab resistant and has good yields even in the early ages of the tree.
Planting Pecan Trees
Plant pecan trees when they are dormant, in late winter or early spring. Thoroughly water the little pecan tree in its container before starting. Remove the tree from the container and straighten out the taproot if necessary. Spread out the other roots, trimming if needed. Dig a hole as deep as the taproot and wide enough to accommodate the other roots spread out. Do not add fertilizer or soil amendments.
Place the tree in the hole without damaging the fragile taproot, and spread out the side roots. Next, fill the hole 3/4 deep with water. Backfill soil as the water is running until the hole is full. (The water helps to prevent air pockets around the roots.) Be sure to keep the tree at the same depth it was in the container. Don’t pack the soil too hard.
Spread a layer of organic mulch over the root zone to help hold moisture in and keep the weeds away. Cut off about 1/3 of the top of the tree to encourage the tree to spend more of its energy growing roots, instead of keeping the top alive.
The little tree will need protection from sun scald and nibbling rodents. Paint the trunk with a white latex paint or use a sleeve-like growing tube for the first three years.
Pecan Tree Care
Did we say growing pecan trees requires commitment? Keeping up with the maintenance and care for pecan trees ensures that your tree will thrive and be healthy for many years to come. Properly fertilized and pruned trees will exhibit the best nut production and will live to be huge, beautiful nut trees.
How to Fertilize Pecan Trees
Large trees should be treated with an NZn or zinc sulfate foliar spray every 2-4 weeks starting at bud break in March until June. (Applying fertilizer can get difficult as the tree gets taller.) If the newly planted tree is growing well by midsummer, apply a half pound of ammonium nitrogen based fertilizer about a foot from the trunk. If it hasn’t grown at least a foot taller, don’t fertilize until the second year.
Beginning in the second year and continuing for 15 years, apply a small amount of nitrogen fertilizer each month from March through June. See notes below for rates of various fertilizers. After 15 years, fertilize only in March and again in May. Broadcast the pecan tree fertilizer evenly out to the drip line and a little beyond, but do not place it within 10 inches of the trunk diameter.
Alternatively, use one of the commercial pecan fertilizers that combine zinc and nitrogen, according to label directions.
Your young pecan tree will need about an inch of rain or 15-25 gallons of water, per week. Mature pecan trees need 1-2 inches of rain per week, especially during the heat of summer. If rainfall is insufficient, you will have to irrigate, preferably with a drip system. See sidebar for rates of supplemental watering.
Pruning Pecan Trees
Pecan trees should be trained to a central leader with surrounding branches (the scaffold branches) spiraling outward and upward. Pruning should be done in late winter or early spring while the trees are dormant and before the active growing season. Start training as young trees. Avoid summer pruning as this is when pecan nuts are being formed. The pruning site should be clean-cut to stay free of insects and diseases.
Here are some tips for training your tree. Retain side branches that come off the central leader at an angle of around 45 degrees, and remove those that come off more horizontally outward or more sharply upward. The scaffold branches should be tip-pruned to encourage branching. Eventually, the lowest scaffold branches should be 6-8 feet above ground, and evenly spaced around the tree. This may take 5-10 years of annual pruning.
Pecan trees tend to exhibit alternate bearing. This means they will produce a heavy crop of pecan nuts one year and one of less pecan production the next. This is one of the many challenges for pecan growers. Annual fertilization and pruning will help to alleviate this problem.
Pecan trees are most commonly planted as bare-root transplants. This means that they are dug from the ground while they are dormant and have had the soil shaken off to expose the root. Bare-root trees should be transplanted between December and March while dormant which helps with transplant shock and less transpiration (water loss) immediately after planting.
Bare-root pecan trees have long taproots and require a deep planting hole. In most situations, the hole should be at least three feet deep and 12 to 24 inches wide so that all side roots can be properly positioned as the hole is refilled. It is best to plant them as soon as possible.
Allow your tree’s roots to soak in water for 1-2 hours before planting. Spread out the roots to encourage outward growth. Refill the hole with native soil (what was removed at the time of digging). Gently release any air pockets. The last step is to thoroughly water.
Nut production will begin after 4 years if it is a grafted pecan tree. Allow the nuts to fall to the ground or you can use a mechanical picker to pull them from the trees.
Good luck with your new pecan trees! And remember, the County Cooperative Extension office is your friend!
Tons of Delicious Pecans!
– One of the country’s most popular pecan trees
– Produces sweet, delicious nuts
– Very Disease resistant
The Hardy Pecan has recently become one of the most popular varieties of pecan trees.
These trees produce much earlier than other types of pecan trees. Once it matures, it produces nuts even faster. On top of that, they’re some of the largest and sweetest pecans we’ve ever tasted.
The Hardy Pecan has become extremely popular since being introduced into mainstream landscaping.
These trees can live farther north than most pecans trees since it is very resistant to winter freezes that can kill other pecan trees.
The Hardy variety is very disease and insect resistant.
They’re ready to harvest earlier than many other varieties and their thin shells make their nuts easy to crack.
The high oil content adds to their delicious flavor and is rich in Omega-3.
This upright tree only grows 20-30 feet tall and 15-25 feet wide, making it a great tree to plant in a small yard.
Hardy Pecans are even able to withstand an abundance of water… so you don’t have to worry if your tree gets stormed on.
Planting & Care
The Hardy Pecan (Carya illinoinensis) is a disease resistant, drought tolerant, moderately growing nut tree. They’re a bit smaller in terms for their maturity in comparison to other pecans, moderately growing to heights of 20-30 feet and widths of 15-25 feet whereas most pecan trees can reach heights of 70-100 feet tall at maturity. The Hardy pecan is a full sun lover sought for producing the largest and sweetest nuts around the end of fall (September-October). For those looking to enjoy buckets of delicious pecans without lots of yard space to offer, the Hardy pecan tree is the perfect fit. Although the pecan is considered to be self-fertile you will see a much larger yield of nuts with two near one another.
Seasonal Information: With the proper care trees can be planted during anytime of the year as long as the ground isn’t frozen. However, it is best to plant in the early spring or early fall. This will allow your trees to get rooted into the ground before the stress of hot summer weather or cold winter temperatures set in. If you plant in the fall, plant six weeks before the first frost and if you plant in the spring, wait until six weeks after the final frost. If you plant in the summer, make sure that your trees get enough water.
Selecting a location: When choosing a place to plant your pecan trees remember that they grow best in full sunlight. These trees can tolerate partial shade, but will need at least six hours of sunlight a day in order to flourish. Avoid planting your pecan trees in an area that’s prone to flooding or that collects standing water. Pecan trees can grow quite large, so give them enough space to reach their mature size and avoid planting them under power lines or too close to your home.
1) Once you have the perfect planting location scouted out dig a hole that’s just as deep as the root ball, and three times as wide.
2) Take a pitch fork or shovel and use it to loosen the soil around the sides of the hole. Remove any debris like grass, dirt clumps, or rocks from inside of the hole.
3) Place your tree in the hole and make sure that its level with the surrounding ground and standing straight upwards a 90 degree angle.
4) Next back fill your hole and gently tamp the soil down to prevent air pockets from forming.
5) Once the planting process is complete give your tree a long drink of water and mulch around the tree to conserve soil moisture.
Watering: Pecan trees are often thirsty ones. Make sure to keep your soil moist, but not over saturated. Check on the soil every few days, when the top soil feels like it’s starting to dry out give your tree a slow, long drink of water by holding a hose at its base and counting to 20 or 30 seconds.
Fertilization: Pecan trees should be fertilized once a year annually in the early spring. Use a well-balanced, all natural, organic fertilizer like formula 10-10-10. Water your tree thoroughly after fertilizing.
Weed Control: If weeds grow under your tree’s canopy be sure to remove them by taking a firm grip on them and then pulling them upwards out of the ground in a twisting motion. To prevent weeds from growing under your tree spread a 3 to 4 inch thick layer of mulch around the trunk. The mulch will prevent weeds from growing and it will also help the soil retain moisture.
Pruning: It is best to prune your Pecan trees in the early spring, or the early fall. You will need a sharp and sterile pair of loppers or hand pruners. Look at your tree and make a plan before pruning, map out what and where you would like to prune. Remember you can always prune more later and you don’t want to over prune. Remove any dead, diseased, broken, rubbing, or crossing ranches. Make your cuts at a 45 degree angle facing upwards to promote new growth. If a branch is infected cut it back about 6 inches past the infected area.
Pollination: Pecan trees are partially self-fertile. They have both female and male blooms on a single tree, but the male and female flowers open at different times which makes the spreading of pollen a little difficult. You’ll have a much higher yield of crops if you have two or more different pecan varieties.
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Botanical Facts About 8 Different Nuts
Photo:Iain Buchanan/Flickr/Creative Commons LicenseA segment for KCET’s award-winning TV show “SoCal Connected” was produced in tandem with this story. Watch it here now.
How well do you know these common nuts? Do you know which nut is actually a legume? Or which nut grows on trees that can live to be 300 years old? Read on for some nut trivia that will impress even your nuttiest friends.
Hazelnuts, also known as filberts, have been harvested from wild trees since prehistoric times. The late Roman cookbook of Apicius called for hazelnuts in sauce recipes for boar and birds. About three-quarters of the world’s hazelnut harvest comes from the Black Sea region of Turkey, where the trees grow on steep slopes along the coastline. One quarter of the total global supply goes to making Nutella. In the United States, hazelnut production is concentrated in Oregon. Most commercial growers wait for the nuts to drop naturally from the trees during mid to late autumn.
Botanically speaking, peanuts are not nuts. They are legumes, and they grow beneath the soil in a fantastic display of plant wizardry. Once the yellow flowers are pollinated, the petals fall away and the stems drop down to the ground. They force their way into the earth while tiny nuts begin to form at the tip of the burrowing stems. In the 20th century, an agricultural scientist named George Washington Carver encouraged farmers in the southern United States to pull out their plots of weevil-ravaged cotton and replace them with peanuts. The plants thrived in the humid climate, and today the majority of the U.S. peanut crop is grown in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. China and India are by far the top peanut producers in the world, though most Asian peanuts are crushed for their oil whereas most American peanuts are eaten fresh or made into peanut butter.
In case you ever wondered how tree nuts are harvested! #almonds #nuts #farms #farmlife #harvest #video #kerncounty #shakers
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Though almonds are native to the Middle East and western Asia, the United States produces more than three-quarters of the world’s almond supply, and nearly all of it is farmed in California. Almonds are the state’s number one agricultural export, valued at $2.5 billion last year according to the U.S. Census Bureau. If you’ve ever driven along I-5 during late spring, you will have seen the almond trees in bloom with their showy pink-white flowers. All these blossoms must be pollinated; close to one million beehives are trucked in from around the country. By the end of summer, the trees develop green, plum-like fruits that crack open at maturity to reveal the nut inside. Modern machines appropriately named shakers grasp the trunks of the almond trees and shake until the nuts fall (as seen in the video above!).
Walnuts are native to the mountain ranges of Central Asia, where nut-bearing trees have grown since ancient times. Today, China produces more walnuts than any other country, but California leads the way among American states, growing ninety-nine percent of our domestic crop. The most widely cultivated species of walnut is the Persian (also confusingly called the English) walnut. There’s no better time to enjoy walnuts than autumn, when they are freshly harvested.
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The pistachio tree (Pistachio vera), native to arid western Asia, is a member of the Anacardiaceae family, making it a close relative of mango, cashew, and poison ivy. Traditionally, pistachios were harvested by hand and left to sun-dry within the purple-red hull that surrounds the kernel. This practice resulted in some staining of the pistachio shell and importers used to dye the nuts red or green in order to disguise the stains. Today most pistachios grown in California (ninety-eight percent of the U.S. crop) are harvested with machines and hulled before drying, so the shells remain a natural beige color. Above, pistachios still on the tree.
Pine nuts are the edible seeds of pine trees. While all pine trees produce pine nuts, less than two dozen species produce nuts that are large enough to be worth the trouble of harvesting. It takes three years for the seeds to mature on the underside of the pinecone scales. The cones are picked, dried in the sun for weeks, and then smashed to release the nuts, which are surrounded by yet another shell that must be removed. The most widely cultivated species are the Italian stone pine (Pinus pinea), the Korean or Chinese pine (P. koraiensis), and the southwestern U.S. piñon pines (P. monophylla and P. edulis). Pine nuts are notable for having one of the highest protein contents by weight among all nuts and seeds.
Native to the Mississippi River Valley, pecan trees can grow as large as 130 feet tall with trunks as thick in diameter as six feet. Wild pecans were well known among Native Americans and early colonial Americans, but commercial pecan production did not begin until the late 19th century. Today, the U.S. is responsible for more than eighty percent of the global crop and about half of that is grown in Georgia. A single pecan tree can grow and bear nuts for more than 300 years.
The cashew tree (Anacardium occidentale) is native to the Amazon basin of South America. During the second half of the 16th century, Portuguese sailors carried cashew trees to India and East Africa, where the majority of the world’s cashews are now produced. In some parts of the world, cashew nuts themselves are less valuable than so-called cashew apples, the soft, kidney-shaped fruit that grows between the nut and the tree. Cashew apples (better known throughout Central America as marañón) are juicy and taste sweet, if slightly astringent. Their fragile skin makes them unsuitable for long-distance shipping, so they are mostly enjoyed locally, eaten fresh or made into juice that is fermented into an alcoholic drink. Pepsi has taken a recent interest in the cashew apple and is planning to start adding the juice into mixed fruit drinks next year.
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Zone 3 Tree Nuts: What Nut Trees That Grow In Cold Climates
Nuts, generally speaking, are thought to be warm climate crops. Most commercially grown nuts such as almonds, cashews, macadamiasand pistachiosare grown and are native to warmer climates. But if you’re a nut for nuts and live in a colder region, there are some nut trees that grow in cold climates hardy to zone 3. What edible nut trees for zone 3 are available? Read on to find out about nut trees in zone 3.
Growing Nut Trees in Zone 3
There are three common zone 3 tree nuts: walnuts, hazelnuts, and pecans. There are two species of walnut that are cold hardy nut trees and can both be grown in zones 3 or warmer. Given protection, they can even be attempted in zone 2, although the nuts may not fully ripen.
The first species is the black walnut (Juglans nigra) and the other is butternut, or white walnut, (Juglans cinerea). Both nuts are delicious, but the butternut is a bit oilier than the black walnut. Both can get very tall, but black walnuts are the tallest and can grow to over 100 feet in height. Their height makes them difficult to pick, so most people allow the fruit to ripen on the tree and then drop to the ground. This can be a bit of a hassle if you don’t regularly gather the nuts.
Nuts that are grown commercially are from the species Juglans regia – English or Persian walnut. The shells of this variety are thinner and easier to crack; however, they are grown in much warmer areas such as California.
Hazelnuts, or filberts, are the same fruit (nut) from a common shrub of North America. There are many species of this shrub growing across the globe, but the most common here are the American filbert and the European filbert. If you want to grow filberts, hopefully, you aren’t type A. The shrubs grow at will, seemingly randomly hither and yon. Not the most tidy of looks. Also, the shrub is plagued by insects, mostly worms.
There are also other zone 3 tree nuts that are more obscure but will succeed as nut trees that grow in cold climates.
Chestnutsare cold hardy nut trees that at one time were very common in the eastern half of the country until a disease wiped them out.
Acorns are also edible nut trees for zone 3. Although some people say they are delicious, they do contain toxic tannin, so you might want to leave these to the squirrels.
If you want to plant an exotic nut in your zone 3 landscape, try a yellowhorn tree (Xanthoceras sorbifolium). A native of China, the tree has showy, white tubular flowers with a yellow center that over time changes to red. Apparently, the nuts are edible when roasted.
Buartnut is a cross between a butternutand heartnut. Borne off a medium sized tree, buartnut is hard to -30 degrees F. (-34 C.).
Almond Trees and USDA Hardiness Zones
The Hardiness Zone Map
The USDA hardiness zone map indicates how well a specific plant will tolerate winter cold in your area. The 2012 version of the Hardiness Zone map has 13 zones, each divided into two sub-zones labeled “a” and “b”. The coldest winters occur in zone 1 (parts of Alaska) and the warmest in zone 13 (parts of Hawaii).
Hardiness Zone Numbering
As you move from zone 1 up the scale, the average minimum winter temperature for each zone increases 10°F (5.6°C). A 5°F (2.8°C) difference separates winter lows between sub-zones. As an example, average winter lows in zone 7a are 30°F (16.8°C) higher than those in zone 4a, and 25° (14°C) higher than those in zone 4b.
Climate Effects on Almond Growth
Almonds thrive in climates accommodating their unique growth process. They need a January-February warm-up following a cold November and December. The warm-up awakens dormant buds; by February, the flowers are ready for pollination. In zones 6 and lower, late spring frosts may damage or kill buds and blooms. The trees survive, but their production often suffers.
The Ideal Almond-Growing Zone
If an almond-growing Paradise exists, it’s California’s Central Valley and USDA zones 9 and 10. Summers are hot and sunny and winters get cold enough to meet most chilling requirements. By February, frost leaves and temps settle between 55° to 60°F (12.7° to 15.5°C). Winter rains taper off so bees pollinate undisturbed.
Growing Almonds in Other Zones
Can’t match the Central Valley’s climate? Not to worry – many almond cultivars also perform acceptably in USDA zones 7 or 8. They include:
- ‘All-in-One,’ (zones 8-9; 400 chilling hours) is a semi-dwarf, self-pollinating tree that wants lots of summer heat. As a bonus, it cross-pollinates with all other cultivars.
- ‘Garden Prince,’ (zones 7-9; 250 chilling hours), another self-pollinating semi-dwarf, stands 10 to 12 feet tall. Regular summer pruning maintains it at 8 feet.
- ‘Nonpareil,’(Zones 7 through 9; 400 chilling hours)adapts well to different growing conditions. Grow it with a cross-pollinator, such as ‘All-in-One.’
Expert gardener’s tip: To guarantee the almond trees you plant suit your hardiness zone, get ones started at a local nursery.