Anybody growing pistachios?

I’ve got four grafted trees and one seedling from a Turkish seed. They are all growing fine but no fruit yet; I’d like to start some more seeds this year.

Utah State University is apparently working on breeding pistachios for the northern Utah climate; I wonder if there is a way to get seeds or seedlings from them?

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You in California?

No, Utah.

I have two females and one mostly dead male. I am looking for a new male but no fruit for me yet either.

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I wonder if a male branch could be grafted onto a female tree, eliminating the need for a separate tree?

My first pair of grafted trees were planted maybe five years ago; I’ve been getting male blossoms for several years and just saw the first female blossoms last year.

I don’t know. I’ll ask this summer when I tour the orchards in Alamogordo. Last year I had 25 or 30 “nuts” but not much ever formed in the hull. Just a small white nut that never filled out

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One Green World used to offer (its currently out of stock) an Uzbecki pistachio they claimed was hardy to 0 degrees F

I was really on a pistachio kick a few years back and I really, really wanted to get one of these, but I just couldn’t justify saving space for something whose chances of success were likely so low (and given that I would need multiples to ensure at least 1 make and 1 female (50/50 chance with 3) it was something even I had to not attempt…

Scott (who still wants to try…but can’t spare the space)

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Scott, the pistachios at Utah State University are in zone 5 in Logan. If I manage to get my hands on some I will let you know.

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The standard varieties like kermit are hardy to minus 10. I have five female and one male in zn. six. they grow very slowly though. Mine are several years old and still under three feet tall.


Where in the panhandle are you? The cold doesn’t worry me but it takes low humidity to produce the nuts to maturity. We are low but not always in the single digits

I have a few trees in southern AZ that produce fairly well. There is an orchard a bit south of us in Dragoon that produces VERY well.

My understanding with pistachios is that the climate required for ripening the nuts is not common… you need good winter chill (~1000 hours by some accounts) but also a very long, hot, dry summer. The dry heat is the most important part. This climate exists in some of AZ, NM, TX, NV, and CA, and probably UT as well.

I’d give it a shot! They are slow growing trees, so it might end up being a long experiment, but even if they don’t produce fruit you’ll still end up with a couple beautiful, unique trees.

I am about 60 miles east of Clovis NM. Our winds usually come from the southwest off of the Chihuahua desert. Two days ago the relative humidity was 2. That , admittedly, is an extreme but we are dry country and currently in exceptional (beyond extreme) drought. I have kermit and peters and they grow much much more slowly than chinese pistachio…I do not know if our climate gets enough heat units to ripen fruit.

ok, its unlikely my humidity will be that low. Being near the water is great for keeping cooker in the summer, freeze moderation in the winter and protection from crazy spring weather…but low humidity is not one of the blessings…

In fact I have to treat my roof to not end up with moss all over it.


I have wanted to plant a pistachio in my yard for quite a while now, I am also in Utah zone 6b. I read somewhere that the Uzbeck seedlings from OGW are basically the same as the ones growing in Logan. They are taken from the coldest region pistachios naturally grow in and surprisingly the climate is similar to Utah’s. Last the commercial varieties that are commonly grown in the US are reportedly hardy to zone 7 but the root stock they are on isn’t. I wonder how long of a growing season a variety like Kermit needs to ripen? If you could get the right trees I think it is worth a try, however I haven’t been able to locate any of the Uzbeck plants.

I have Kermit and Peters on commercial rootstock, I’d have to check but I think they came from a grower in AZ about 5 years ago; they were maybe 3 ft tall when I got them and are 8-10 ft now.

They have had no trouble with our winters so far, I think I am bordering on zone 6b-7a or Sunset Western 3a.

I recently got Golden Hills and Randy, will see how they do. And my little Turkish seedling seems to have made it through the winter.

Hey i am also interested in hearing how your trees do in your climate and the lowest temps you have seen them take as well as where the zone 5 trees can be found!