10 Fresh, Raw Pistachio seeds, Pistacia vera, Calif; Will grow nut trees
Fresh, raw pistachio seeds, closed shells with the skins still on, and just a dash of color on many. These will grow into the coveted California Kerman pistachio trees, which are both male and female. Locally grown here in Central California outside of Fresno. Pistachios were first introduced to the Golden State in 1854. Pistachio trees are normally cut and expertly grafted onto new root stock, which will tell you the gender right away and save about three years of growing time. These trees are expensive and also hard to find via mail. If you are patient, this is a much cheaper way to go. Seeds are clean and split, mostly still in their shells.
Picked in October of 2018. Best germ is from fresh seed. Suitable/viable into spring of 2019. These are rare and hard to find and once gone, I will have no more until maybe fall of 2019. Heirloom tree, up to 33 ft. tall. Human beings of all kinds have eaten these nutritious nuts for over 175,000 years, according to archeologists.
The pistachio nut tree is native to western Asia and Asia Minor, and are still a major crop in Iran. It grows in USDA plant hardiness Zones 8 through 11, or tolerates temps between 15 °F in winter to 118 °F or so in summer. Pistachios are a valuable commercial export crop in California, but are also grown in New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Texas and Utah. They like full sun, hot, dry summers, and well drained soil. Very drought tolerant once established. Can handle salty soils more than most trees. Pistachio trees do poorly in conditions of high humidity (eastern US) and are susceptible to root rot in winter if they get too much undrained water around the roots. Long, hot summers are required for proper ripening of the nut.
Seeds can be planted as is after soaking, but germination will likely be only 50 to 60%. Better germination (90-95%) can be obtained by shelling carefully, soaking for 16-24 hours, then mix seeds with slightly damp sand into a plastic bag and refrigerate for a month or two. Plant the cold-stratified seeds in half sand, half perlite and water daily. Too much moisture will rot the seeds. Once sprouted, use half potting soil to half perlite, or half potting soil and half sand, or one third of each. Horticultural studies show seed germination is greatly improved by soaking the seeds in solution of 1 percent potassium nitrate, a commercial N fertilizer. Perhaps manure would also work, such as a single pellet of Chickee-doo-doo, but not sure.
It will take four to ten years to get any flowers that indicate sex. Best if planted in the ground in sandy or well drained soil after one to two years. One male tree per a half dozen females is quite adequate (upwind preferred).
The nuts are high in nutrition, and have a positive effect by lowering blood pressure and the risk of heart disease.