Almond Tree

The almond tree is a deciduous tree in the family Rosaceae which is grown for its edible seeds (nuts). The almond is a species of tree native to Iran and surrounding countries, including the Levant. The botanical name of almond is Prunus dulcis. Prunus dulcis is an economically important crop tree grown primarily in Mediterranean climates between 28° and 48° N and between 20° and 40° S, California producing nearly 80 percent of the world’s supply. Almond is a stone fruit (drupe) and consists of three layers, the outer exocarp, the middle fleshy mesocarp, and the inner endocarp.



The tree has brown or gray bark and either an erect or weeping growth habit depending on the variety. Almond leaves are long with a serrated edge and grow alternately on the branches. The tree produces white to pale pink flowers and hairy green fruits which are oblong in shape. The fruit is a drupe, containing a single seed. The seed is protected by a hard brown shell. At maturity, the flesh of the fruit becomes leathery and splits to reveal the nut inside. Nuts generally measure 3.5 to 6 cm (1.4–2.4 in) in length. Almond trees have a commercial lifespan of between 30 and 40 years.


Table of Contents


Height(Avg)

10 - 40 feet


Width-Circumference (Avg)

10 - 24 feet


Approximate pH

6.0 - 7.0


Growth Nutrition of Almond Tree


The nutrients most likely to be needed in post-harvest fertiliser programs for almonds are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), zinc (Zn) and boron (B).


Nitrogen is one of the most required nutrients in almonds. It is important to build the tree canopy and encourage vegetative growth, leading to improved bud formation, higher yields, and higher nut protein contents. Optimum tree nutrition is essential for achieving top nut yields. Potassium is particularly important and needed in large quantities for nut-fill and highest yields.


Types of Almond Tree


There are two varieties: sweet almond (P. dulcis, variety dulcis) and bitter almond (P. dulcis, variety amara). Sweet almonds are the familiar edible type consumed as nuts and used in cooking or as a source of almond oil or almond meal. The oil of bitter almonds is used in the manufacture of flavouring extracts for foods and liqueurs, though prussic acid must first be removed.


California Paper Shell Almond


California Paper Shell Almond is known to produce medium to large-sized, flattish nuts with paper-like shells. This tree originated in California in the 1880s. It produces consistently prolific crops of medium-sized kernels. This tree is relatively easy to prune and train. You can pollinate it with Carmel, Price, Ne Plus Ultra, and other California Paper Shell Almond Trees as well.


Livingston Almond


Livingston Almond produces medium-sized, well-sealed kernels with a paper-thin shell. This tree blooms about five days after Nonpareil with varieties such as Padre and Butte. It also matures about ten days after Nonpareil, much earlier than Padre and Butte. Livingston Almond is a medium to large tree with an upright habitat and prolific yearly yield.


Mission Almond


Mission Almond is a late-blooming, prolific tree. It produces short, plump kernels with exceptionally hard shells. This tree requires cross-pollination as it is not self-fertile. You can cross-pollinate it with other Almond varieties, such as Price, Carmel, All-In-One, and Nonpareil. It thrives in full sun and clay, loamy, and sandy soils.


Mono Almond


Mono Almond is a prolific tree and a relatively good pollinator. It produces almonds with hard shells and sweet-tasting kernels. Mono Almond is a disease-hardy tree and a vigorous grower. This tree grows exceptionally well and yields healthy, flavorful crops in sun-kissed locations in a wide variety of free-draining soils.


Padre Almond


Similar to the Butte variety, Padre Almond produces late blooms and crops; it blooms five days after Nonpareil and matures for harvest about 23 days after Nonpareil. Padre Almond is an upright tree that produces almonds with hard, nicely sealed shells and medium to small kernels. This is a prolific tree that thrives in sunlit areas and well-drained soils.


Ruby Almond


Ruby Almond blooms about eight days after Nonpareil. It also offers a late harvest of crops that ripen about 31 days after Nonpareil almonds. It yields medium to small-sized, plump kernels that grow in nicely sealed, semi-hard shells. Ruby Almond is a productive, moderately vigorous tree with an upright growth habitat.


Thompson Almond


Thompson Almond Trees bloom around five to seven days after Nonpareil Almond Trees. These trees can cross-pollinate with numerous Almond Tree cultivars, including Butte, Fritz, Padre, and Ruby Almond Trees. Thompson Almond is ready for harvesting around 15 to 20 days after Nonpareil Almond Trees. It’s a bit difficult to remove the almonds from this tree. Thompson Almond is highly susceptible to non-infectious bud failure, peach twig borer, and navel orange worm.


Ripon Almond


Ripon Almond blooms quite late into the season. It flowers more than eight days after Nonpareil Almond. For successful cross-pollination, you can plant your Ripon near Fritz and Ruby Almond. Unlike many Almond Trees, Ripon Almond isn’t compatible with Ne Plus Ultra. It’s typically ready for harvest around 15 to 20 days after Nonpareil Almond Trees.


Planada Almond


Planada Almond trees bloom around 8eightdays after the popular Nonpareil Almond Trees. Since they bloom so late, they are also not prepared for harvesting early. You can harvest these trees around 40 to 60 days after the harvest time of Nonpareil Almond Trees. For prolific crops, plant your Planada Almond in a sunlit area in free-draining soil.


Carmel Almond



Carmel Almond is an exceptional pollinizer for Nonpareil Almond Trees. It produces high-quality kernels that are sealed properly in hard shells. Young Carmel Almond Trees produce heavy crops. Their harvest time is two to three weeks after the harvest time of Nonpareil Trees. Carmel Almond Trees are not self-fertile and need prolific pollinators to yield abundant crops.


Ne Plus Ultra Almond



Ne Plus Ultra Almond is a French variety loved commercially because of its fast-growing habitat and large, light brown almonds with flat, long, sweet kernels. You can pair it with Nonpareil for exceptional growth and prolific crops. Don’t cross-pollinate it with Norman, Price, Ripon, or Merced. Ne Plus Ultra Almond is a large Almond Tree with spreading, willow tree-like branches.


Nonpareil Almond



Nonpareil Almond is a widely popular Almond Tree in the US. It produces almonds with soft, thin shells and large, smooth kernels. This Almond Tree variety does no self-pollinate, but you can plant it with other Almond varieties for pollination. However, it isn’t compatible with Profuse, Tardy, Nonpareil, and Jefferies. This variety thrives in sunlit areas in free-draining soils.


Monterey Almond


Monterey Almond is a small yet vigorous grower with a spreading crown. This Almond Tree produces heavy crops of elongated Almond kernels with a soft, nicely sealed shell. These trees produce fruits that tend to double. Monterey Almond is a great pollinator for Nonpareil and vice versa. It blooms two days after the popular Nonpareil and requires harvesting at least three to four weeks after its counterpart.


Garden Prince Almond


Garden Prince Almond is an attractive, naturally dwarf Almond Tree that produces a profusion of striking pink blooms in early spring. This is a perfectly hardy variety that thrives in warm, dry summers. Garden Prince Almond requires hand pollination for prolific crops. This tree thrives in full sun and free-draining soils and needs protection from frost.


Winters Almond


Winters Almond is a new variety of Almond Trees introduced by the University of California. It blooms alongside Carmel and Nonpareil but is ready for harvest about 14 days after the latter. It produces high-quality, medium-sized, elongated almonds with a soft, thin, moderately sealed shell. Winters Almond is an upright, vigorous tree that yields consistently prolific crops and thrives in full sun.


Butte Almond


Butte Almond is considered to be the most prolific Almond Tree. It’s a moderately vigorous tree with a spreading crown. This tree produces late blooms that show up four days after Nonpareil blooms. It also has a late harvest time; it’s ready for harvest 20 days after Nonpareil. You can plant Butte Almond with other Almond Tree varieties, such as Padre. It produces medium or small-sized, plump kernels with a semi-hard, well-sealed shell.


Fritz Almond


Fritz Almond blooms around the same time as Nonpareil and produces consistently prolific crops. It harvests around 40 days after Nonpareil. This tree produces almonds with semi-hard shells and medium-small, ovate kernels. Fritz Almond features an upright, moderately spreading crown. This tree is an excellent pollinator for Nonpareil Almond Trees.


Sonora Almond


Sonora Almond Tree blooms three days before the popular Nonpareil. However, it is less frost-sensitive than other early blooming Almond Trees. Its harvest time is around seven days after Nonpareil’s harvest time. Sonora Almond produces medium to large-sized, elongated, light brown-hued kernels enclosed in a paper-thin, often poorly-sealed shell. This tree has a slightly spreading crown.


Avalon Almond


Avalon Almond Tree is somewhat similar to the Nonpareil variety. However, it is ready for harvesting around eight days after the typical Nonpareil Almond Tree. It also blooms approximately three days before Nonpareil Almond. The almonds produced by Avalon Almond Trees are nicely sealed in their shells, preventing them from insect damage. These trees are excellent pollinators for Nonpareil and Carmel Almond Trees.


Durango Almond


Durango Almond is a prolific Almond Tree with an upright, vigorous, and somewhat spreading form. Its prolonged bloom season starts about two days before the bloom season of Nonpareil Almond Trees. The white-hued blooms are exceptional at attracting bees. Durango Almond is ready for harvesting around ten days after Nonpareil Almond Trees.


Aldrich Almond


Aldrich Almond produces medium-sized, plump almonds sealed in medium-hard shells. This tree is an excellent pollinator for other Almond Trees. It blooms with Nonpareil and harvests about fifteen days after its counterpart. Aldrich Almond has a growth habitat that resembles Mission Almond Trees. It’s an upright, vigorous, large tree.


Price Almond


Price Almond produces almonds that are quite similar in flavor to the popular Nonpareils. These almonds have a dark, hard shell that protects the small, light brown, grooved nut inside. Price Almond is an excellent pollinator for most Almond varieties except for the Ne Plus Ultra Trees. Plant it in full sun and well-drained clay, loam, or sandy soils.


Wood Colony Almond



Wood Colony Almond is a moderately compact tree suitable for close planting. Its blooms flourish around the same time as Carmel and Nonpareil blooms. This tree matures for harvesting about eleven days after Nonpareil. Wood Colony Almond is a consistently prolific tree that produces medium-sized, elongated kernels with semi-soft, nicely sealed shells. This tree is smaller than Caramel Almond Trees but features a similar spreading crown.


Shalimar Almond


Shalimar Almond is a Kashmiri Almond Tree variety that is grafted with the local peach. It produces prolific crops of flavorful, creamy brown to slightly whitish, elongated almonds encapsulated in semi-hard shells. This tree also produces beautiful white blooms with pink centers and anthers. For prolific growth, plant your Shalimar Almond Tree in a sunlit location in free-draining soil.


Merced Almond


Merced Almond Trees produce semi-early blooms and mid-season crops of paper-shelled, bold, light brown, flattened almonds. This upright tree produces white, 5-petaled, cup-shaped blossoms that give way to sweet-tasting almonds. For prolific growth, plant your tree with the appropriate pollinators in full sun and free-draining soils.


Peerless Almond


Peerless Almond Trees bloom earlier than the popular Nonpareil Trees. Their blooms flourish around the same time as Ne Plus Ultra blooms. Peerless Almond produces medium-sized kernels in attractive hard shells. This is a medium-sized, upright tree that produces prolific crops when planted with Nonpareil and Ne Plus. Plant your Peerless Almond in full sun and free-draining soils.


Waris Almond


Waris Almond Tree is an upright specimen with moderately vigorous growth. This mid-blooming tree produces medium-sized, bold, and brown to creamy white, soft-shelled almonds with a sharply pointed apex. Waris Almond Trees need to grow in full sun and loamy, clay, or sandy soils to ensure prolific yearly crops.


Primorskij Almond


Primorskij Almond Trees are mid to late-season bloomers. They are upright trees with moderately vigorous growth. These trees produce medium to large, slightly flattened, bold, brown-hued kernels that are enclosed in hard shells. This tree is ready for harvesting in the late season. It thrives in a sunlit area in a wide variety of free-draining soils.


Profuse Almond


Profuse Almond Trees are incredibly non-compatible pollinators for the popular Nonpareil Almond Trees. If you want to grow Profuse Almond Trees, plant them in a sunlit location in free-draining soils made from loam, clay, or sand.


Tardy Nonpareil Almond


Tardy Nonpareil Almond is a cultivar of the Nonpareil Almond Tree. Its bloom date is seven to ten days after the traditional Nonpareil Trees bloom date. This slightly delayed bloom protects its flowers from frost. However, it can lead to a decline in the tree’s crop production. For prolific growth, plant your tree in full sun and free-draining soils.


Eureka Almond


Eureka Almond Trees are highly non-compatible pollinators for Solano Almond Trees. These trees can grow well in sunlit locations in free-draining soils made from loam, clay, and sand.


Kapareil Almond


Kapareil Almond Tree is a distinctive small-kernel Almond Tree variety released by the California Agricultural Experiment Station. It consistently produces prolific crops of small-sized almond kernels enclosed in exceptionally hard shells. It also yields cup-shaped, 5-petaled, white blooms with pink centers. This tree is an excellent pollinator for Nonpareil Almond Trees.


Vesta Almond


Vesta Almond is a productive Almond Tree developed by the US Department of Agriculture. It produces large almonds with soft shells that are easy to crack by hand. However, the shells are sealed properly to protect the kernel from worm damage. Vesta Almond Trees grows vigorously, branch well, and fruit prolifically. This tree pollinates with Nonpareil and features leaves that are more resistant to red spider mites than those of its counterpart.


Jenette Almond


Jenette Almond Trees are non-compatible pollinators for Ne Plus Ultra Almond Trees. These trees are the only Almond Tree cultivars in the US that have predominantly dark-skinned, wrinkly kernels. These nuts are enclosed in thin, breakable shells. They are non-self-fertile trees that thrive in a sun-kissed location and free-draining soils.


Norman Almond


Norman Almond is a mid to late-blooming Almond Tree. Typically, this Almond variety does not suffer from low-infectious bud failure. Norman Almond produces almonds that are quite easy to remove from the tree. For prolific crop growth via cross-pollination, plant this tree with a Butte Almond Tree in full sun and free-draining soils.


Granada Almond


Granada Almond Trees are incompatible pollinators for Thompson Almond Trees. They tend to grow well in a sunlit location in free-draining clay, loam, and sandy soils.


Harvey Almond


Harvey Almond Trees bloom approximately the same day or two days after Nonpareil Almond Trees. For cross-pollination, plant your Harvey Almond near a Fritz Almond Tree. However, don’t plant it near a Thompson Almond as that will result in unsuccessful pollination. Harvey Almond Trees are ready for harvesting seven to ten days after Nonpareil Almond Trees. They are moderately susceptible to non-infectious bud failure, peach twig borer, and navel orange worm.


Robson Almond


Robson Almond Trees are non-compatible with Thompson Almond Trees. These trees tend to grow well in a sunlit location in free-draining clay, loam, and sandy soils.


LeGrand Almond


LeGrand Almond Trees bloom around three to four days after Nonpareil Trees. They are ready for harvest about 25 to 30 days after Nonpareil Almond Trees. However, they might double harvest at an earlier stage. These trees are susceptible to non-infectious bud failure, navel orange worm, and peach twig borer. It is quite difficult to remove the nuts from this Almond Tree.


Carrion Almond


Carrion Almond Trees bloom around three to four days after Nonpareil Trees. These trees are incompatible pollinators for Carmel Almond Trees. However, they will cross-pollinate wonderfully with Butte, Fritz, and Padre Almond Trees. Carrion Almond is ready for harvest around 15 to 20 days after Nonpareil Almond Trees. This tree is moderately susceptible to existing non-infectious bud failure.


Capitola Almond


Capitola Almond produces a crop similar to Nonpareil Almond. It yields consistently high-quality, small, slightly dark, sweet-tasting kernels enclosed in semi-soft shells. Capitola Almond is a vigorous, hardy, and productive tree with large, spreading branches, lanceolate green leaves, and abundant light pink blooms with yellow anthers. It thrives in a sunlit location and free-draining soil.


Independence Almond


Independence Almond is a self-fertile Almond Tree variety with an upright, moderately spreading crown. This prolific bloomer produces high-quality, large almonds with a light color and excellent flavor. This tree thrives and pollinates well with Nonpareil and harvests two to three days before its counterpart. You can plant it in full sun and free-draining clay, loam, and sandy soils.


Mira Almond


Mira Almond Tree is a self-fertile, medium to large, vigorous, and productive tree with an open crown. It produces prolific crops of high-quality, sweet-tasting kernels enclosed in nicely sealed, semi-hard shells. Just like Nonpareil Almond Trees, Mira Almond has an early harvest time. The almonds of Mira Almond are easily removed from the hulls.


Vela Almond


Vela Almond is a self-fertile Almond Tree with a medium to late harvest time. It produces prolific crops of high-quality, sweet-tasting, large to medium-sized kernels encapsulated in soft shells. This prolific, vigorous tree has an upright, spreading crown. It is known to produce Almonds that release easily from their hulls. Since it’s a self-fertile tree, it does not require other Almond Trees to produce its crops.


Capella Almond


Capella Almond is a self-fertile, prolific Almond Tree with a slightly open, moderately branched crown. It produces high-quality, sweet kernels that are enclosed in nicely sealed, hard shells. This medium-sized tree is quite easy to harvest despite its prolific crops. For excellent growth, plant your Capella Almond in a sunlit location in free-draining soil.


Maxima Almond


Maxima Almond is a cross-pollinating Almond Tree with a spreading, moderately branched crown. This tree blooms prolifically around four days after Nonpareil Almond. It produces prolific crops of large, sweet-tasting, cordate, skin-hued, bright kernels enclosed in semi-hard shells. Maxima Almond is an excellent pollinator for Nonpareil, Carmel, Wood Colony, Mira, and Monterey Almond Trees.


Makako Almond


Makako Almond Tree is an extra-late flowering Almond Tree cultivar. This tree blooms around 20 to 21 days after Nonpareil Almond Trees. The best part about Makako Almond is that it can produce prolific crops under passive self-pollination. This is a vigorous tree with a balanced habitat. It produces large kernels that are enclosed in hard shells.


Planting Almond Tree

  1. Choose a sunny site. Almond trees need ample room to grow because they can grow up to 30 feet in height. Plant your sapling 15 to 20 feet away from buildings, power lines, and other trees. Almond trees need full sun and well-draining loam soil to thrive.

  2. Prep your sapling. Setting up your almond tree for success starts before it's even in the ground. Using a garden hose, spray off the sapling's rootball to make sure it's hydrated and that the roots make good contact with the soil.

  3. Dig your hole. Dig a hole deep enough to accommodate your plant's root system. If you've bought a bare-root or container-grown tree, dig your hole deep enough to match the depth at which your tree was planted in the nursery—most likely 18 to 24 inches. To make sure your hole is deep enough, gently place the plant inside and rest the taproot firmly against the bottom. If the base remains above the top of the hole, don't force it deeper. The taproot is sensitive and easily damaged by aggressive handling or trimming.

  4. Plant your tree. Place your sapling in the center of the hole and backfill it with well-draining soil. Firmly tamp down the soil to remove any excess air while filling. Immediately water your sapling with at least one gallon of water. Place a layer of mulch around the base of the tree to help retain soil moisture.

  5. Prune small twigs. Trim off any small twigs near the base of the tree. Young trees need pruning in order to focus all of their growth on their trunk and branches.

  6. Exercise patience. The almond tree's dormant period lasts about 5 years from seedling to fruiting, so don’t be alarmed if nuts don’t appear on your tree for the first few years.


Care for Almond Tree


Light


Your almond tree will bear the most flowers (and therefore, potentially nuts) if located in full sun.


Soil


Good drainage is important, so sandy soils are preferred over clay soils. Till deeply into the soil so that the roots can strike down deep.


Water


Like other nut trees, almond trees need a lot of water to grow healthy. Aim for about 3 to 4 inches of water per week, or enough to keep the soil moist. Almond trees are relatively drought tolerant, but it's best to provide plenty of water to produce a suitable harvest. Just remember that overwatering your tree can cause root rot: Soggy soil means the plant is receiving too much water.


Fertilizer


Fertilize your almond tree in spring with a balanced fertilizer. Apply this fertilizer along the drip line of the tree.


Growing and Harvesting a Crop of Almond Nuts



Technically, the crop produced by almond trees is not a nut, but a stone fruit (drupe). The fruit growing on almond trees initially looks nothing like the almond you later end up eating: Instead, what you see is a leathery, green hull. Inside the hull is a hard, light-colored shell. This is the shell that we crack with a nutcracker to get to the edible part. Cracking the shell frees the brown seed ("nut") that we eat. While you can eat the fruit of an almond tree, it's best before the nuts are hardened, which may be too early to let them ripen fully.


There are different types of almonds. The kind found in nut bowls and dessert recipes is the sweet almond (Prunus dulcis), but there is also a bitter almond (Prunus dulcis var. amara) that is used, for example, to flavor certain liqueurs.


For the most part, almond trees are not self-fertile, as are some trees that bear edible fruit: You will need two or more cultivars for pollination, and they can't be just any cultivars (flowering times have to line up). This is the trickiest part of growing almond trees for a crop of nuts. Plant your almond trees 15 to 25 feet apart from one another.


A smart way to avoid having to plant different cultivars for pollination purposes is to select a self-fertile variety. For example, 'Garden Prince' is a self-pollinating almond tree that grows 10 to 12 feet tall; however, it is cold-hardy only to zone 8.


Almonds give you a clue as to when they are ready to be harvested: The hulls begin to split apart, revealing the familiar, light-colored shell. Do not wait too long after this splitting to harvest your almond nuts because the exposed shell is now fair game to both birds and insects.


The easiest way to get the almonds off the tree for the home grower is to tap the branches with a pole. Lay a tarp down ahead of time to catch the almonds as they fall to make pick-up easier.


After gathering the almonds, they must be dried properly, or else they can become moldy. Drying requires several steps:

  • Remove the hulls.

  • Spread the nuts out (with the shells still on), in a thin layer, across a surface conducive to drying. An ideal surface would be a table, the top of which has been replaced by a screen. Cover them with BirdBlock mesh (buy on Amazon) to prevent the birds from taking them, and cover them with a tarp when rain is expected.

  • The only way to know for sure when the drying process is complete is to sample the "nuts." Crack the shells of a few to find out whether the edible seeds within are hard or rubbery. If they are rubbery, then they are not completely dried out yet. If they are hard, then they are ready.

  • When you have determined that your crop has dried out enough, bring the rest of the nuts, with their shells still on, indoors. Stored at room temperature, they will keep for eight months.


Pruning and Propagating Almond Trees


Pruning


Pruning has different purposes at different stages of the tree’s life.


Pruning young almond trees determines their future shape, and therefore their productivity and the quality of the nuts produced. It’s important to get it right to ensure a good harvest.


Almonds are commonly pruned into a “vase” type shape with 3-4 main branches, which also allows for ease of harvesting. If done correctly, the “vase” shape makes the tree more vigorous, more productive, and guarantees a longer lifespan.


Pruning after maturity, however, is more about maintaining the shape established in the early stages of the tree’s life. Pruning renews the tree and stimulates it to produce more. Around 20% of an older tree’s canopy should be pruned back each year.


Propagating Almond Trees


By Root Graft


Like most fruit and nut trees, almonds are normally propagated by budding. This is by far the easiest and most effective way to grow them and ensure that they grow true to their parent plant.


A hardy root stock (often of peach or the more resilient bitter almond variety) is used to give the tree resistance to soil-borne diseases, and then the fruit-bearing branch is grafted onto the root stock.


Using grafted almonds makes the trees much more resilient, and they often grow much faster than from seed. This is particularly the case for those that have a peach root stock, which generally tends to be more productive than those grafted with almond root stock.

A further complication with almond trees is that you have to have at least two different, but compatible, varieties so that they can cross pollinate, usually via bees.


From the Nut


It’s perfectly acceptable to try growing your own from seed for a backyard project, as long as you are aware that it will take much longer to bear fruit, and any nuts that are produced may not be of the same quality as that of the parent plants.


Find fresh nuts – not roasted like you find in the supermarkets. Leave them to soak for around 48 hours, and then place them on a wet paper towel in a plastic bag and place them in the refrigerator.


About 3-4 weeks in the refrigerator should do the trick, and the almonds should start sprouting. At this point, they’re ready to pot in a nice, well-drained soil mix (something like a mix of sand and compost) and placed in direct sunlight, ideally on a windowsill where it’s nice and warm.


The important thing is to keep them moist, but never soggy. After they have reached about 6 inches in height, they’re ready to be moved up to a bigger pot size.

Pests and Plant Diseases


Pests

Pavement ant (Southern fire ant) Tetramorium caespitum Solenopsis xyloni, S. molesta


Symptoms: Hollowed out nuts on ground

Cause: Insects

Comments: Prevalent in orchards using drip or spray irrigation

Management: Monitor orchard for ants in April and May; apply ant baits before harvest to manage high ant populations; remove nuts from orchard floor as soon as possible


Diseases


Almond brownline and decline Peach yellow leafroll mycoplasma

Symptoms: Stunted tree growth; drooping/wilting of leaves; brown necrotic areas under bark Cause: Phytoplasma Comments: Most common on young trees; grow trees from pathogen free stock Management: Stunted trees should be removed and replaced; plant only certified pathogen free trees

Almond kernel shrivel Peach yellow leafroll phytoplasma

Symptoms: Late blooming; new growth stunted; paler, smaller leaves; kernels of nuts shriveled at harvest Cause: Phytoplasma Comments: Most common where peach rootstock has been used for grafting; remove infected trees Management: Remove diseased trees; plant only certified trees

Almond leaf scorch; golden death Xylella fastidiosa

Symptoms: Chlorotic leaf margins; necrosis of leaf margins beginning toward tip of leaf and spreading to base; patches of necrotic tissue with chlorotic margin Cause: Bacterium Comments: More of tree will be affected each year; bacterium can infect rye, blackberry and nettle and if these plants are nearby they may act as reservoir; transmitted by leafhoppers and spittle bugs Management: If discovered early (while disease affects only one branch) disease can be removed by pruning primary scaffold 5 to 10 ft below symptoms; older infections may require the tree to be removed and replaced

Crown gall Agrobacterium tumefaciens

Symptoms: Galls of various sizes on roots and root crown below the soil line; galls may occasionally grow on the trunk; galls are initially light colored bulges which grow larger and darken; galls may be soft and spongy or hard; if galling is severe and girdles the trunk then young trees are weakened due to constricted vascular tissue; trees may be stunted and rarely die Cause: Bacterium Comments: The bacterium enters host plants through wounds and causes plant cells to proliferate and cells to be undifferentiated, leading to the formation of a gall Management: Only plant disease-free nursery stock; plant trees in well-draining soils; avoid wounding the plants as much as possible; fresh wounds can be treated with a biocontrol agent (Agrobacterium tumefaciens K84), if available, to prevent the bacterium colonizing

Alternaria leaf spot Alternaria alternata

Symptoms: Light brown lesions on leaves which expand to form circular lesions on leaf blade or semi-circular lesions on margin; leaves may develop light yellow necrosis which dries and turns tan in center of leaves; infected leaves dropping from tree; fruit does not drop from tree Cause: Fungus Comments: Disease emergence favors warm weather Management: Late spring treatment with appropriate fungicide if Alternaria symptoms are present

Anthracnose Colletotrichum acutatum

Symptoms: Blighting of blossom; dieback of limbs; death of foliage with leaves remaining attached; nuts with orange lesions Cause: Fungus Comments: All cultivars susceptible; occurs more often in warm, wet conditions Management: Fungicide treatment and cultural practices required to control disease. Orchards with a history of anthracnose infections should be sprayed at 5-10% bloom and applications should be repeated every 10 to 14 days; dead infected branches should be pruned; low angle nozzles should be used in orchards with spray irrigation to prevent wetting of leaves

Brown Rot Blossom Blight Monolinia laxa

Symptoms: Blighted blossoms; stigma and anther of flowers turning brown and necrotic; blossom collapsing and turning brown; light brown powdery fungal masses may be visible on infected flowers; gummy exudate at base of flowers; cankers forming on twigs associated with blossoms Cause: Fungus Comments: Disease emergence favors frequent rainfall during bloom Management: Fungicide application at 5-10% bloom and full bloom to protect flowers; one application at full bloom usually sufficient if there is no rainfall; two or three applications should be made if bloom is accompanied by rainfall

Hull rot Rhizopus stolonifer Monolinia spp


Symptoms: Tan lesions on hulls which enlarge and cause fruit to shrivel; dark gray spore masses visible between hull and shell; leaves in proximity to infected fruit may wither and curl; leaf death occurs on side of shoot closest to infected fruit

Cause: Fungus

Comments: Hulls of fruit are susceptible to hull rot until they are dry

Management: Management of irrigation should be practiced. Reduce irrigation at hull split; demethylation inhibitor and quinone outside inhibitor fungicide may be applied in combination with irrigation management


Shot hole Wilsonomyces carpophilus


Symptoms: Circular purplish spots on foliage which enlarge and turn chlorotic then tan; drying of lesions causes missle of lesion to drop out of leaf causing small holes to develop

Cause: Fungus

Comments: Spores transmitted in water; disease more common in wet conditions

Management: If fungal fruiting structures are present in Fall (visible under a hand lens as small black spots in the center of lesions) then a fall treatment with fungicide is required; fungicide should be applied before wet periods to protect tree


Verticillium wilt (Blackheart) Verticillium dahliae


Symptoms: Leaves on one side of tree turning yellow; wilting early in season

Cause: Fungus

Comments: Fungus overwinters on soil, recurring each year; problematic if orchard is interplanted with other susceptible plants e.g. cotton, tomato, melon

Management: Orchards should not be intercropped with susceptible plants e.g. cotton, tomatoes or melons; solarization or fumigation of soil prior to planting may be used to kill fungi in soil


Benefits of Almond Tree


Almonds are said to be beneficial for your health, but in what ways is the question that you need to ask yourself. So, what are the health benefits of almonds and what good would this nut do if it is added to your daily diet? Well, here are some scientifically proven benefits of almonds and their usages.


Almonds Reduce Cholesterol:


According to a recent study by the American Dietetic Association, consuming almonds were proven to increase your levels of Vitamin E in your red blood cells and also reduces your risks of having cholesterol. By boosting the levels of vitamin E in your bloodstream antioxidants are formed that prevents your cells from clogging developing cholesterol. Thus consuming a handful of almonds daily can generate more vitamin E into your bloodstream and this can also save you from the risk of developing cholesterol.


Almonds are Good for Your Heart:


When almonds are consumed along with some other nuts, it is said that it is good for your heart. Well, according to a study published in 2014, researchers found that samples in the study who consumed almonds has more antioxidants in their bloodstream and this helped in reducing blood pressure and improved the flow of blood to various parts of the body. Also, the research concluded by stating that Mediterranean diets that had a lot of nuts in their foods had more health benefits.


Almonds Regulate Blood Sugar:


Consuming almonds is said to regulate blood sugar levels and stabilize them. This is because almonds have magnesium in them and it advised that you consume a handful of almonds daily. However, for people suffering from type 2 diabetes, almonds play an integral role in stabilizing it. So what basically happens if a diabetic person consumes almonds? The answer is, the person would develop insulin resistance which is great for people suffering from diabetes and this is because of the content of magnesium in the nut.


Almonds can help control Blood pressure levels:


Low magnesium levels can cause high blood pressure. This leads to heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure. Almonds contain magnesium which helps control blood pressure effectively. If your body lacks magnesium, you must add almonds to your diet.


Almonds have High Vitamin E:


Almonds are said to contain higher levels of Vitamin E which is an antioxidant that protects your cells from getting toxic. With higher amounts of vitamin E being pumped into your bloodstream, this reduces your risks of developing Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and heart disease. Make sure that your intake of vitamin E is moderated because excessive intake of vitamin E can lead to prostate cancer. Make sure you consume how much is needed and do not do it in excess.


Almonds Reduces Weight:


Almonds have higher contents of protein and fiber and lower levels of carbohydrates that curbs your appetite and does not keep you craving for long. This also helps in reducing the number of calories on a daily basis. When almonds have the tendency to curb your appetite, this means that you can control what you intake and this helps in regulating your weight.


Almonds are Good for Your Eyes:


While carrots are said to be very good for your eyes, almonds have a high source of vitamin E that protect your eyes and prevents abnormal changes to your lens. Thus, consuming almonds will protects your eyes, but do not consume this in excess as this can lead to weight gain. Make it a point to consume almonds in moderation.


Almonds have a Rich Source of Antioxidants:


Almonds have a rich source of antioxidants that can protect you against stress. Stress leads to molecule damage that thereby results in inflammation, cancer and ageing. The antioxidants prevalent in almonds benefit your skin. However, consuming 84 grams of almonds per day can increase the levels of antioxidants in your body that will protect you from ageing and various other diseases.


Almond Nourishes Skin:


You may have read about almonds being a major part of the ingredients in most skin products and this is because of the fact that this nut has loads of benefits for your skin. Almonds contain a flavonoid that is similarly found in green tea and broccoli. This component nourishes your skin and is an anti-ageing property for your skin.


Almonds Prevent Cancer:


Almonds have certain amounts of fiber present in them that helps in detoxifying the body. Consuming almonds help food to move through the digestive system more easily. Almonds have high fiber in them and this reduces your risk of developing colon cancer. It also has loads of vitamin E and flavonoids that regulate breast cancer.


Almonds Improve Your Brain Power:


Almonds contain L-carnitine and riboflavin that helps in the growth of brain cells. One major chemical that helps the brain in cognitive function is phenylalanine and almonds do have this chemical in them. Consuming just five pieces of almonds every morning can help you boost your brainpower.


Almonds are Best for Treating Anaemia:


Anaemia is usually caused when red blood cells carry very less oxygen to the brain. Thus, almonds contain copper, iron and vitamins that help in producing more haemoglobin and as a result, almonds can be used to prevent anaemia.


Almonds are Good for Your Nerves:


Almonds have some amount of magnesium in them that benefits the nervous system. This also helps in developing a healthy metabolic rate. Magnesium also helps in better bone tissue. This has so much benefit that even peanut butter cannot offer you.


Almonds Treat Acne and Blackheads:


Almonds are considered to be the best remedy that can prevent and fight acne, blackheads and whiteheads through the fatty acids found in them. These fatty acids control the oil that gets clogged in these skin pores and thus when the almond oil is applied to your skin it also helps in reducing skin rashes.


Almonds Treat Stretch Marks:


Almond oil makes it effective for treating stretch marks by nourishing the skin and preventing skin tear. All you need to do is to heat the almond oil and apply it to the stretch marks and leave for an hour. Make sure you apply this twice a day and you will see the difference.


Almonds Prevent Grey Hair:


Almond oil is very essential in treating any kind of hair problems from hair fall to preventing hair from turning grey, you name it and almond oil comes in handy. Almond oil also helps in curing dandruff and other types of hair problems. The best part about using almond oil for your hair is that it gives a silky and shiny texture.


Almonds Help in Hair Growth:


Lack of magnesium in your body leads to loss of hair and thus the high amounts of magnesium found in almonds help your hair grow fast and develop strong strands. Thus, almonds help in hair growth.


Almonds are Natural Anesthetics:


When it comes to any stitching of your skin, plucking of the tooth or so forth, almond oil can play an important role such that it can heal as an anaesthetic. Almond oil has a toxic compound called glycoside amygdalin that makes your nerves insensitive and so you may feel numb once this is applied. Also, keep in mind that you can use bitter almond oil only as an anaesthetic and not for any other purposes.


Almonds Increase Mental Alertness:


When almonds are mixed with milk they become rich in potassium. This is one of the main minerals that boost the number of electrolytes in your body, thus providing the body with more energy. When there is a boost in electrolytes, your memory flow also increases and this can happen by consuming almond milk. In simple terms, almond milk makes your memory sharper.


Almonds Prevent Birth Defects:


Almonds contain folic acids that protect the mother from any sort of birth defects. Folic acid plays an integral role in the development of healthy cell growth and also helps in the life cycle of a growing fetus. Pregnant women who consume almonds can help protect their baby from developing any sort of birth defects.


Uses

  • The almond nut is eaten raw or processed into butter, flour, extract, oil, paste, syrup, and milk.

  • Almond oil is obtained from the dried kernel of almonds and they are used as a flavoring agent in baked goods, perfumery and medicines.

  • Sweet almond oil is used for cosmetic creams and lotions.

  • Almonds are a common addition to breakfast muesli or oatmeal.

  • In Europe almonds are used to make marzipan, a sweet paste used in pastries and candy, and in Asia almonds are often used in meat, poultry, fish, and vegetarian dishes.


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