Harvesting pistachio trees – Pistachio Tree Yield
Pistachios split before they are harvested. Thus, they must not fall in the ground, because they run the risk of contamination from soil microorganisms. The fruits that fall in the ground do not get harvested and they are left there as compost to the trees. Harvesting of pistachio tree begins late summer (August to mid-September in United States), depending on the variety and the region, and lasts about 15 to 20 days. Contrary to citrus, apples and other fruit trees, all pistachio fruits in a tree do not normally mature at the same time. Consequently, harvesting takes place in 2 or 3 stages (2-3 “hands”). The first hand is usually harvested when 60-70% of the fruits have ripened.
Harvesting of pistachio trees is a labor intensive procedure when made by hand, by shaking the trees with special hand equipment. The fruits fall underneath the canopy of trees, over outstretched sails or collection nets. Then, the fruits are sorted in piles and a rough screening follows in order to remove fallen leaves, broken seeds and shoots. Immediately after sorting or maximum after 10-12 hours, they are spread out in a cool place, and the nuts should be peeled, otherwise their quality will be deteriorated.
However, in organized pistachio orchards in US, harvesting is made via big tractors that attach to the trees and shake the branches, so that the fruits can fall inside bins, where the sorting is made. The fruits are then transferred through the trucks to the processing units. In this case, the fruits’ route from the tree to the processing unit is rather completed within a few hours.
Pistachio Tree Yield
The average budded pistachio tree usually comes into fruition in the fourth or fifth year of its life. The production at this young age usually ranges from 2,2 to 4,4 lbs. (1-2 kg) of dry nuts per tree, or 5,5 to 11 lbs. (2,5 to 5 kg) fresh harvested fruits. For a medium production, 7-10 years are required. At this age, a fair production ranges from 13 to 22 lbs. (6 to 10 kg) dry nuts per tree or 33-55 lbs. (15-25 kg) fresh harvested fruits. When the trees go into full fruition, at 12-14 years old of age, the production of a healthy and well cared pistachio tree can reach or exceed 33 lbs. (15 kg) of dry nuts or 83 lbs. (37,5 kg) of fresh harvested fruits.
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11.) Pistachio Tree Harvest & Yields
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