Almond Tree Climate Conditions and Requirements
In a few words, the almond tree thrives in hot and dry climates, but it has also certain needs in cold (250-350 and in some varieties 500 hours), and that’s why it cannot be cultivated in tropical climates. Due to the fact that it blooms very early compared to other fruit trees (during February in US), it can be harmed by frosts during this period, and this is the main limiting factor when growing almond trees.
Low winter and spring temperatures and very high summer temperatures inhibit growth and fruit set. During flowering, temperatures below 24,8 °F (-4 °C ) for half an hour and longer can cause serious damage, depending on the variety. On the other hand, very high summer temperatures when accompanied with low soil moisture can result in the shrinkage of almond.
The needs of almond in cold (in order to break the dormancy of the buds) are small, about 250-350 (and in some cases over 500) hours of exposure to temperature less than 45 °F or 7 °C. This is the reason why the almond tree blooms earlier than most of fruit trees and thrives in areas with mild winters. The long and warm growing season favors the fruit ripening. Frequent rainfalls and cold weather during the flowering deteriorate the cross pollination activity of bees, resulting in decreased fruit set and production. Moreover, rainfall and humid conditions favor the development of fungal and bacterial diseases, and thus reduce production. The greatest yields are often achieved in irrigated almond orchards that are located in areas with long and hot summer, without many rainfalls. In United States, the optimum climate for growing almond trees can be found in Central California. There are also other suitable areas (some parts of Arizona, Texas and Georgia), but as a rule of thumb, the risk of fungal diseases increases as we move to the east. Outside US, the perfect climate for growing almond trees is the one found in Mediterranean countries (Italy, Spain, Morocco, Greece and Tunisia). However, almond trees are also cultivated with great success in Syria, Iran and Australia.
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4. Almond Tree Climate Requirements
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