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Pistachio Tree Combo
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    Pistachio Tree Combo

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    Growing Zones: 7-11
    Growing Zones: 7-11
    Mature Height: 10-15 ft.
    Mature Width: 10-15 ft.
    Sunlight: Full Sun
    Spacing: 15 ft.
    Botanical: Pistachia vera ‘Golden Hills’, Pistachia vera ‘Randy’
    Cannot Ship to: AZ, LA

    You Can Grow the Same Pistachio Nuts Favored by Commercial Growers

    You can’t eat just one. That familiar cracking noise when you pop open a pistachio means you’re getting ready to enjoy a taste sensation that is unique among other nuts. Until now, you’ve depended on fluctuating market prices that seem to be driven higher and higher to purchase your pistachio delicacies. But there’s a better solution for enjoying as many pistachios as you want – and it’s right outside your door. You can grow your own pistachios by planting our Pistachio Combo (Pistachia vera ‘Golden Hills’ and ‘Randy’), the preferred choice of many commercial growers.

    A Perfectly Paired Duo
    We’ve chosen two of the best trees in the pistachio world, and we’ve paired them as a perfectly compatible duo for our Pistachio Combo. Why two of them? It takes two to tango, so to speak. Pistachio nuts are produced on female trees, but female trees need a pollen partner – a male tree – to fertilize their flowers. Our Pistachio Combo includes Golden Hills Pistachio, a female tree, and Randy Pistachio, a male tree. There’s a science behind pistachio tree pollination that goes beyond simply choosing a male and a female tree. Different types of pistachio trees bloom at different times, so you have to plant a male and a female with the same bloom times or cross-pollination cannot happen. We’ve done all the research to eliminate the guesswork for you by choosing the perfect combination of male and female trees that have compatible bloom times – Golden Hills and Randy Pistachio trees!

    Golden Hills Pistachio
    This gal was bred specifically as an improvement over other female pistachio trees to produce larger harvests. Plant breeders met two primary goals to achieve a bigger harvest potential: 1) more branches on each tree and 2) an earlier harvest start date. By breeding a female tree that had more branches, this also created more surface area to support more pistachio nuts. And an earlier harvest start date meant a longer harvest season, resulting in bigger harvests. But the plant breeders didn’t stop at producing merely a prolific female tree; they also bred stronger disease resistance into Golden Hills Pistachio than is shown by other female pistachio trees. A pest that can cause damage to pistachio trees is the navel orangeworm. By the time this pest matures and damages pistachio crops, Golden Hills Pistachio nuts have typically been harvested because of the tree’s earlier harvest start date!

    Randy Pistachio
    Female pistachio trees sometimes hog the spotlight because they are the ones that actually produce the nuts. But before a female tree can produce a bumper crop of pistachio nuts, she depends on a strong and healthy male tree to produce viable pollen. Before Randy Pistachio tree was bred as a superior male tree, another male cultivar took center stage as the preferred pollen partner for female trees. The lab results are in – Randy Pistachio tree produces 30 percent more viable pollen than the male front-runner before him! And when you pair Randy Pistachio’s improved viable pollen count with Golden Hills Pistachio’s productivity, Golden Hills is able to produce 45 percent more pistachio nuts than other female trees, based on field trials! We think you’ll agree these two trees are truly a match made in pistachio heaven.

    Small Yard? No Problem!
    Some nut-producing trees can grow to heights in excess of 60 feet. If you need two of these tall trees for cross-pollination to produce nuts, you can see how you’d have to have a pretty big landscape to accommodate their growth. But even if you have a small yard, you can grow our outstanding Pistachio Combo because each tree grows only 10 to 15 feet tall!

    A Harvest of Pistachio Nuts in Your Own Backyard
    Can you really grow enough pistachios in your yard from these two small trees? The answer is a resounding yes. As trees grow, they produce more nuts, so your first harvest may yield only 5 pounds or less. But when trees are mature, each female tree may produce at least 50 pounds of pistachio nuts! It’ll take a few years before you get a good first harvest, but be patient because the results are certainly worth it. It’s also noteworthy that pistachio trees are classified as alternate-bearing trees. This means that you’ll have a heavy crop one year, followed by a much lighter crop the following year. When you see your trees producing this way, don’t think something is wrong – it’s perfectly normal!

    Don’t Take Our Word for It
    The renowned pistachio breeding program at the University of California produced Golden Hills and Randy Pistachio trees. Because California is the largest U.S. commercial grower of pistachio nuts (and the second-largest worldwide producer), it stands to reason that the most prestigious U.S. pistachio research studies, breeding programs, and field-testing trials are based in this state. Golden Hills and Randy Pistachio trees were introduced in 2005 by the University of California. After only 5 years, the nuts from these trees were being produced by commercial growers. And now, you can grow these trees right in your own backyard!

    How to Harvest Pistachio Nuts
    Pistachio nuts are easy to harvest, and you won’t have to climb on unwieldy ladders to gather them. In early- to mid-September, you’ll see the hulls (the outside skin of pistachio nuts) change in color from green to reddish shades. At this stage, the hulls will easily fall away from the nuts when you squeeze them. Inside, you’ll find the familiar pistachio nut, which has already split. Spread a tarp below your tree. Gently shake the branches, and watch the delicious pistachios fall to the ground. Remove all the hulls and let the nuts dry for a few days in the sun. You may have to cover them loosely with bird netting to keep birds, squirrels, and other wildlife from eating them during this drying period!

    How to Store Pistachio Nuts
    They’re so easy to store, and they retain their fresh taste when stored properly. After you dry them in the sun, freeze them for a few days to kill any insect eggs that may be present. Place nuts in plastic bags that you store in the refrigerator or freezer. Both shelled and unshelled pistachio nuts will stay fresh for 1 year in the refrigerator and 3 years in the freezer!

    Pistachio Nuts Pack a Healthy Punch in a Small Package
    Numerous research studies, including those by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sing the praises of pistachio nuts. These heart-healthy nuggets are cholesterol-free, and they add protein, dietary fiber, and unsaturated fat to any diet. Other than fresh snacking, pistachio nuts are so versatile. Add them to salads, bake them in muffins, or even make homemade pistachio ice cream!

    Our Best Growing Tips
    Golden Hills and Randy Pistachio trees are perennials in USDA Plant Hardiness zones 7 through 11. Optimal conditions for growing these trees include:

    Full sun. To maximize your harvests and to keep trees in optimal health, they must be planted on full-sun sites.

    Warm, dry weather. For a two-month period between the Fourth of July and Labor Day, pistachio trees need warm and dry conditions for healthy nut development. Trees may struggle in humid climates during the summer because they need a drier atmosphere during this time.

    Chilling hours. Trees also need 850 chilling hours each winter between November 1 and March 31. This is the number of hours the temperature stays below 45 degrees F. If you call your local Cooperative Extension Service, they’ll be able to tell you the average number of chilling hours in your region.

    Water. During the active growing season – from springtime to harvest – pistachio trees grow best in moist (never soggy) soil. During July and August, when the pistachio nuts are maturing, the trees like plenty of water.

    Soil. The soil must be loose and well-draining for trees to develop healthy root systems.

    Fertilizer. Fertilize Golden Hills and Randy Pistachio trees according to the results of a soil test. The trees also respond favorably when 20 to 25 pounds of composted cow manure is applied each year.

    Location, Location, Location
    A little attention to detail on where you plant each tree in our Pistachio Combo can make a big difference in the size of your harvests. Although insects and other pollinators are responsible for pollinating the flowers of other types of plants, pistachio trees rely on the wind to carry pollen from male trees to female trees. This makes the placement of each male and female pistachio tree strategic for maximizing pollen transfer. Plant your Randy Pistachio tree 20 feet away from Golden Hills Pistachio tree, and be sure to plant Golden Hills downwind of Randy so the wind will carry pollen from male to female flowers.

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