The best way to succeed is to plan before you plant. Let’s discuss location: Do you know where you want to plant your new nut trees? Avoid many future problems by considering all aspects of the planting spot, such as:
Your tree would love a sunny place with well-drained, fertile soil. But it will be quite satisfied with six to eight hours of sunlight. Good drainage is required to keep your trees “happy.” If your soil has high clay content, use our Coco-Fiber Potting Medium or add one-third peat to the soil at planting time.
If you’d like your tree to become a landscaping asset, choose the planting place with this in mind. Imagine it as a full-grown tree and check everything out: Wires overhead? Sidewalk underneath? Does it obstruct something you want to see? Can you keep an eye on it from the house? Will other trees be in the way, allowing for their additional growth in the meantime?
Even a year or two after planting, your tree will be very difficult to transplant. So take the time to plant it in just the right place.
We are asked about recommended planting distances from patios, sewer lines, water pipes and so on. Ordinarily, patios will not be a problem because the soil beneath them will be dry and compacted. Therefore, the roots will not grow into this area as much. You might not expect sewer and water lines to be affected since they are buried so deeply. But, since sewer and water lines tend to be wet, roots will grow to them and around them if the tree is planted too close. By planting your trees far enough away from these items, you can avoid this problem.
Once you’ve found out firsthand about the goodness of growing nuts, you’ll want to expand your home orchard. It’s important to plan for tree spacing so that the future growth areas will be ready when you are.
Successfully establishing a young nut tree in your yard starts with your planting site and method. Once a tree is established, it needs little assistance to grow and produce; but you’ll want to make sure you give your tree the best foundation possible.
Nut trees require fertile soil for good growth, so before you plant, check your soil nutrients and pH. Contact your local County Extension Office for information about soil testing in your area, or purchase one of our digital meters for quick and accurate results. For almonds, your ideal soil pH should be 6.0-7.0. Steer clear of soils that are extremely heavy or poorly drained.
Preparing your soil before you plant will greatly improve your tree’s performance and promote healthy, vigorous growth. It is a good idea to have your soil tested to determine if it is lacking in any essential minerals and nutrients. This can be done through your County Extension Office or with one of our digital meters.
The goal of soil preparation is to replenish vital minerals and nutrients, as well as break up and loosen any compacted soil.
Soil preparation can be done at any time that the ground is not too wet or frozen. Your trees may be planted even when temperatures are quite cool. If a hard frost is expected, it is advisable to delay planting for a while until temperatures become more moderate. Generally, as long as your soil is workable, it is fine to plant.
Your lawn can provide you with ideal organic materials such as grass clippings and shredded leaves. Not only will the grass and leaves break down to provide soil nutrients, but they will help loosen the soil as well. You can gather these in the fall with spring planting in mind.
Adding organic materials, such as our Coco-Fiber Potting Medium and compost will improve most every soil type. Organic materials bind sandy soil particles so they retain moisture and nutrients better. They also break apart clay and silt particles, so that water can infiltrate and roots can spread.
Fertilize your tree in the spring with a well-balanced fertilizer. Sprinkle the fertilizer at the drip line of the tree.
Every tree has the future potential for disease and insect damage. Factors such as location and weather will play a part in which issues your tree encounters. If available, disease-resistant trees are the best option for easy care; and for all trees, proper maintenance (such as watering, fertilizing, pruning, spraying, weeding, and fall cleanup) can help keep most insects and diseases at bay.
Trees appear stunted and slow growing; leaves may be reduced in size, little or no fruit. If tree is dead, inspect roots for hard, woody ‘tumors’. Note: many things can cause stunted trees.
On 1-year-old shoots, reddish spots develop into sunken cankers. Spots on leaves, center often drops out, leaving small holes. Fruit skins usually are spotted; damage to nutmeat unknown. If NOT controlled, production will be reduced.
Usually on bark of young twigs and branches, encrusted with small (1/16”) hard, circular, scaly raised bumps with yellow centers, may also be on fruit. Sap feeding weakens the tree.
Whitish-gray powdery mold or felt-like patches on buds, young leaves and green twigs. Leaves may crinkle and curl upward. New shoots are stunted. Over winters in fallen leaves.
Pale yellow or ‘dirty’ green worms. Leaves are rolled and webbed together where insects feed. Eventually becomes ‘skeletonized’.
Flowers turn brown prematurely. Nuts rot similar to brown rot in peaches. Start as small brown spots, which rapidly enlarge. Fall clean up is important.
Appears as black or brown spots on underside of leaves. Center often falls out leaving a ‘shot hole’ appearance. Leaves may yellow and fall. Fruit will also get spots, sunken areas and cracks.
Young shoots have water-soaked spots which turn brown. Leaves turn black and drop early. Olive colored circular spots on fruit.
Adults of this insect are clearwing moths, metallic blue to black in color with bright bands of orange or yellow. They are about 13 mm long with wings folded and their forewings have a black apical band. Larvae are about 18 mm long, white with brown heads.
Caterpillar is ¾ inch long, reddish orange to yellow. Adult moths have irregular, silver gray and black forewings and legs, snout like at front of the head. Eggs are white at first and later orange before hatching. Larvae are reddish orange then vary from milky white to pink. Pupae are light to dark brown. Larvae bore into nutmeat and later consume most of the nut. Producing large amounts of webbing and a fine powdery residue. Over winter in mummy nuts in tree or on the ground.
Pinpoint size, many different colors. Found on undersides of leaves. Sap feeding causes bronzing of leaves. Severe infestations have some silken webbing.
Insects are ¾ to 1" in length, usually brown in color, have long legs, wings and antennas. They feed on plant tissues that results in tan or bleached spots and distortion. Females lay eggs on the leaves or stems. Can cause nuts to fall early and/or be poorly developed.
Hairy caterpillars that enclose large areas in webbing and feed on enclosed leaves. Remove web with rake and burn. Caterpillare are pulled out with webs.
Adult moths are gray in color and about 1/4 to 1/2 inch in length. Larvae are small brown caterpillars that tunnel into young shoots, killing terminal growth and nuts as they ripen.
Small reddish-purple spots appear on young leaves then enlarge and eventually dropping out of the leaf blade leaving a “shot hole.” It appears on fruit, usually in clustered as light brown spots or lesions with dark purple margins.
Pruning is a very important part of proper tree care, but many people find the task overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be! Keep these things in mind:
The primary scaffold selection is done after the first growing season:
When the tree is dormant, prune low limbs that may interfere with sprays or irrigation. Remove limbs and vigorous shoots growing through the center to allow light and air to penetrate. Secondary limbs with narrow angles should be removed.
When the tree is dormant, maintenance pruning consists of removing broken, interfering, dead, or disease branches.
A proper and consistent spray schedule is important to the survival of your trees. From diseases to pests, many potential issues can be prevented with spraying before they even begin! To reap its benefits, spraying should be done consistently and thoroughly following the guidelines below.
Before you begin, read and follow all instructions on labels.
Young almond trees are sensitive to drought and need watering during the dry season for the first year or two. Older trees are more resistant and may not need supplementary watering. Until the first two years has passed, follow these guidelines to get your new almond trees off to a great start.
Are you ready to enjoy delicious homegrown nuts? Harvest is the time to enjoy the results of your hard work. Keep a few things in consideration as you reap the the benefits of your labor: the best time to pick nuts from your tree, and how to store the nuts.
Harvest almonds in late August through September. Depending on the variety and growing conditions you can start harvesting nuts in 2 to 4 years. Knock or shake the nuts from the tree when the hulls open completely. After nuts are shook to the ground let them sit for 2 to 3 days to dry a little in the sun. The drying process is complete when the nuts rattle in their shells and the kernel snaps instead of bending. After you have swept or raked the dried almonds from the ground, remove the shells from the hull, and then remove the nuts from the shell.
Almonds will store for 1 year in the refrigerator or a cool, dry place or freeze for later use. For best quality package carefully in airtight containers, almonds can absorb moisture and other odors. Almonds can be stored 6 to 8 months at room temperature if left in shell after drying.