10 Raw Pistachio seeds, Pistacia vera, Calif; Will grow nut trees
Suitable for Southwest US states only, CA to TX. Fresh, raw pistachio seeds, mostly closed shells, most with the skins still on, and just a dash of color on many; harvested the first week of September, 2019 and limited in yearly availability. Purchased directly from the nut farmer in CA and only available for several weeks per year. Best planted in Spring outdoors or in a greenhouse anytime. These are very rare and hard to find and once gone, I will have no more seeds until maybe fall of 2020. You likely have never seen such seeds as these in your life, as they are not sold in big retail food stores, only at a few local farmer's markets and local fruit stands here in CA. Completely unprocessed, fresh, raw seeds. Dried by Datura Don naturally in open air with mostly shade next to the whole corn cobs, ferociously guarded by Gandolf the Grey, the feral barn cat regularly fed here at WBTC.
These will grow into the typical 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 and have thrived ever since. Pistachio trees are normally cut and expertly grafted onto new root stock, which will tell you the gender right away and save three years or more of growing time. These grafted trees are expensive and also hard to find via mail. If you are patient, this is a much cheaper way to go. You may end up with a few more males than you would normally stock, which do not have to be kept.
Heirloom tree, up to 33 ft. tall. Human beings of all kinds have eaten these nutritious nuts for over 175,000 years, according to archaeologists. Or, since before humans were even human.
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 successfully in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah. Not suitable for most other locations!
They like full sun, hot, dry summers, and well drained soil. Very drought tolerant once established. Can handle salty soils more than most food trees. Pistachio trees do poorly in conditions of high humidity (east of the Rockies) and are susceptible to root rot in winter if they get too much undrained or standing water around the roots (Oregon and Washington). Long, hot, low-humidity summers are required for proper ripening of the coveted nuts.
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 or cracking the seeds, 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% potassium nitrate, a commercial N fertilizer. Perhaps manure tea would also work, such as a single pellet of Chickee-doo-doo in the water mix, but not sure.
It will take four to 10 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 male preferred).
The tasty nuts are high in balanced nutrition including protein, and have a positive health effect by lowering blood pressure and the risk of heart disease.