Rate my pistachio tree

So I remember planting this thing with my grandfather about 20+ years ago. We have barely been watering it (we sit the hose on it MAYBE once a week), but it seems to be growing like mad… I’m wondering if it is safe to try and eat the nuts?

From the little research I have done, you just put a big tarp under the tree and shake the branches? When do you think they will be ready to harvest (here in Nevada)? I also heard you can remove the shells with a food processor (no way I am going to remove each by hand)?

Google Photos

*more pics




Thanks for any advice!



I researched pistachios a few years back and supposedly they smile (open like one sees in store bought nuts) once ripe.

What zone are you in? I saw your profile said Nevada, but I’m not terribly familiar with the zones in NV.


Las Vegas. Desert climate 120f in summer. Although as you can see in one of the shots the trees are kinda near a wall that shades them a bit from the west (I think that helps them not fry).

So my nuts look good?

loaded question there…lol

But what are your winter temperatures, though.

From what I’ve seen online your pistachios look excellent. Is this the first year the tree has produced?


Winter temps are pretty mild. No snow, rarely below freezing.

I’ve been staying at the house for two years now, it produced last year. I’m pretty sure it was producing every year before that too (the house was vacant, and the neighbor just moved the hose around the yard once a month if that). We get less than 5 inches of rain a year… This tree is definitely a survivor!

Ok so I did a bit more research and they say end of August is usually the time to harvest? I just tried shaking the branches and the nuts are not falling yet.

Also anyone have tips for removing the hulls? The outer hull needs to be removed before I roast them right?

I think they’ll be ready when the outer hulls turn bright red and the skin becomes thinner. That’s how they’re sold in the Middle East. And yes, they have to be peeled before roasting.

Has anyone tried peeling them in a food processor? I swear I saw a youtube video of somebody doing that years ago but can’t find it…

No way I am peeling them all by hand.

When pistachios are ripe, they start to open up like steamed mussels. At that point, the skin is red, thin, and very easily peelable by hand.

Yeah but if you have thousands of them peeling them by hand isn’t really exciting to me. I was hoping I could just dump them in a food processor or something.

And you’re saying they will open up while still on the tree?

And you’re saying they will open up while still on the tree?

That I’m not sure of, but I would think so.

Read this: http://www.rpistachios.com/harvesting.php

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