Mister Pistacho

Specialists in grafted pistachio plant

Image of pistachio plants grafted in a nursery.
Grafted pistachio plants in our nursery in Toledo.

pistachio plant

A profitable crop in Spain

Pistachio fruits

The cultivation of the pistachio plant is a profitable option in Spain. This plant, native to Western Asia, adapts very well to the climatic and soil conditions of our country. Although it requires a high initial investment, the return obtained in the long term is very satisfactory.

Pistacia vera, the scientific name of the pistachio tree, can be vulnerable to diseases, but with proper care and harvesting techniques, an excellent production of this “green gold” can be obtained.

On this page we describe the characteristics of the pistachio tree, the conditions for its cultivation, the development and necessary care, as well as the profitability of pistachio cultivation in Spain.

Origin of the pistachio tree and its arrival in our country

The pistachio or alfoncigo tree, the tree that gives rise to the dried fruit of the pistachio, is native to the area of Western Asia, specifically Persia, present-day Iran, Syria, Turkey and western Afghanistan. For many years it was an exclusive fruit of the area, but over time its cultivation has spread to different areas of the world with great success. This crop arrived in Spain a few years ago and has adapted very well throughout this time.

Pistachio Tree Description: Shape, Height, Longevity

The pistachio tree has a rather elegant appearance. It is a medium-sized tree that can reach 10 meters in height, although it is normal for it to measure around 5-6 meters. One of its most characteristic features is that it has a rough and dark gray trunk. The crown of the tree is leafy and wide, with deciduous leaves that fall entirely in winter. On the other hand, the pistachio tree has a fairly long lifespan, being a tree that can live up to 300 years if the conditions are right.

The roots and their importance for the cultivation of pistachio

The roots of the pistachio tree are essential for the correct development and growth of the tree. These roots are usually deeper than those of other trees, since they seek moisture from the ground, and are very susceptible to root rot if there are areas of waterlogging or excessive irrigation. It is called a pivoting root system, and it is stronger than that of the olive, vine or almond tree. In addition, the pistachio tree is a very drought-resistant plant, so a lack of water will benefit its root system, making it develop more in search of water. As for the root system, it develops very well laterally, a fact that makes the pistachio tree capable of obtaining a large amount of nutrients from the soil.

Climate and temperatures

The pistachio is native to Western Asia, so it needs a dry and warm climate for its development. The central region of the Iberian Peninsula is considered the ideal area for growing pistachios, although some points in the south or east are also suitable. The optimal temperature for pistachio varies between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius, with a minimum of -18 degrees Celsius in winter and a maximum of 45 degrees Celsius in summer. These extreme temperatures favor simultaneous sprouting, pollination and increase the quality of the harvest.

Soil and water needs

The pistachio plant has a great capacity to adapt to different types of soils, as long as they have good permeability and drainage. Clay and alkaline soils are the most suitable for growing pistachios. Regarding water needs, the pistachio needs moderate irrigation, without waterlogging, especially in the months of budding and growth of the fruit, that is, from April to September. In periods of extreme drought it is necessary to increase irrigation. On the other hand, it is worth highlighting its resistance to salinity.

Planting time and planting techniques

The best time to plant pistachios is in winter, from November to February, before the leaves emerge. Planting can be done by grafting pattern in the field or grafted plants. Planting using a rootstock for grafting in the field does not guarantee a uniform crop, since the grafts could fail for meteorological or human reasons. Planting through grafted plant It allows the first harvest to be brought forward, as well as to provide uniformity in the plantation with the consequent greater commercial benefits. Grafts are carried out in spring with refrigerated braces and in summers with fresh braces of our irrigated mother feet.

Care during the first years

Pistachios are very hardy trees, but they need care during the first few years to establish properly. Once planted, the trees must be protected from the wind by tying them to stakes. It is advisable to tie it with flexible macaroni or rubber anchors. To avoid friction caused by the wind, the tie should be in the shape of an 8 or placing some protection between the stake and the plant. In areas at risk of rabbits, it is essential to place a protector at least 60 cm high with holes for proper ventilation. Special care must be taken with soil moisture. It is important to give a post-planting irrigation to seal the soil. It is also not advisable to overwater to avoid root rot problems. Weeds near the base must be controlled so as not to compete with the tree for soil nutrients.

Irrigation and fertilization techniques

Pistachios need constant and balanced watering, especially during the hottest months. It is important not to overwater to avoid rot problems. Regarding fertilization, a good mix of macro and micro nutrients necessary for the correct development of the tree is recommended, especially potassium, in order to improve fruit production. A correct background fertilizer in the cultivation of the pistachio tree at the time of planting and during the life of the plant it is highly recommended. He boron must be present in all subscriber plans.

Grafting the pistachio tree and the different types of rootstocks

Grafting is a very important technique to obtain high quality pistachio production. It is made in the still young plant, in which a pistachio bud with a suitable rootstock. He rootstock It is used to control plant growth and ensure its resistance to soil diseases and fungi, as well as adverse weather conditions. On the market there are different types of rootstocks suitable for growing pistachios, so you should choose the one that best adapts to the soil and climate conditions. In Spain there are 3 types of rootstocks: pistacia terebinthus, pistacia atlantica and American hybrid pattern UCB1.

Most common pests and how to control them.

When growing pistachio, it is important to keep in mind that there are different types of pests that can affect the tree and its fruits. Some of the most common pests are: the clytra or pistachio beetle, the pistachio fruit bug, some worms and the green mosquito. To prevent and control these pests, different techniques can be applied, such as the use of pheromone traps, biological control and the use of specific insecticides for each type of pest. When we talk about pistachio clytra, this pest can cause defoliation of the tree and, if not controlled, can affect its development. To control this pest, it is advisable to apply insecticides based on pyrethrins. The pistachio fruit bug is another type of pest that can affect the pistachio crop. This pest can cause the deterioration or premature fall of the fruit and its loss. To combat this pest, the application of specific insecticides is recommended. Finally, the pistachio green mosquito is a pest that can cause a decrease in the plant's yield by sucking the sap from the leaves and affecting the quality of the fruit. To avoid the green mosquito, it is recommended to place pheromone traps.

Diseases that can affect the pistachio tree.

As with pests, diseases can also affect the pistachio crop. Some of the most common diseases are: fusariosis, verticillosis, botrytis, septoria either botryosphere. Fusariumsis is a disease caused by a fungus that can affect the branches, leaves and fruit of the tree. This disease can cause a weakening of the tree and a decrease in production. To prevent and combat fusariosis, it is advisable to use sanitation techniques and apply specific fungicides. Verticillosis, on the other hand, is a disease caused by a fungus that can affect the roots of the tree and cause a decrease in its development. To prevent and control verticillosis, it is important to take into account the quality of the soil and avoid cultural practices that could weaken the tree. It is recommended the UCB1 pattern since it is the only one resistant/tolerant to verticillosis. Botrytis is a disease that can affect both the leaves and the fruit of the pistachio tree. This disease can cause a decrease in fruit quality and, in severe cases, lead to crop loss. To prevent and control botrytis, it is advisable to maintain adequate ventilation in the crop and apply specific fungicides (pyraclostrobin 6.7% plus boscalide 26.7%). Septoria is produced by the ascomycete fungi of the species Septoria pistacina, S. pistaciarum and S. pistaciae. The fungus overwinters on fallen leaves infected in the previous season. Most of the ascospores are mature and ready for discharge at the end of April, and are released during and after rain. Infected and untreated trees can end up with early defoliation and weakening for the following year. As a preventive treatment we use copper, copper hydroxide. If the disease is already widespread, we must treat with systemic fungicides (trifloxystrobien, azoxystrobin, etc.). In general, for fungi, the rains at the end of spring and summer determine both the onset and subsequent severity of these diseases.

Prevention and treatment of these diseases.

To prevent and treat diseases and pests that can affect pistachio cultivation, it is important to follow appropriate agronomic and phytosanitary techniques. These techniques include: the choice of suitable soil and good planting planning, the selection of resistant varieties, the application of integrated control techniques and the use of specific and authorized phytosanitary products. It is important to remember that, to avoid the appearance of diseases and pests in pistachio cultivation, it is essential to carry out adequate preventive work. Monitoring and control at all times can help avoid serious problems and maintain the quality and profitability of the crop. In winter we must eliminate branches and leaves infected by fungi, to avoid problems in the next campaign.

Pistachio harvest time

Pistachios are harvested in the month of September, when the fruits have reached maturity and have acquired a dark brown color. It is recommended to collect manually to avoid damaging the fruits with vibrators, although as the tree grows, mechanized means gain weight.

Techniques for drying fruits

Once harvested, the pistachios undergo a drying process to reduce humidity and prolong their conservation. In this process, damaged fruits are removed and classified according to their size. They are then subjected to a heat treatment to reduce the presence of bacteria and/or vacuum packaged to prolong their useful life. They should always be kept in an environment with controlled humidity and temperature.

National and international pistachio market

The pistachio market in Spain presents a great business opportunity due to the growing demand for this nut. The main markets for Spanish pistachios are European countries, especially Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom. In these markets, Spanish pistachio is considered high quality and competitively priced. In addition, the Spanish pistachio also has a significant presence in the international market, especially in Asian countries such as China, which imports large quantities of Spanish pistachio.

Initial investment and maintenance costs

The cultivation of pistachio requires a high initial investment, which includes purchase of the pistachio plant and the costs of preparing the land for planting. The cost of pistachio plant varies depending on its size and age, whether it is a grafted plant or rootstock for grafting in the field, the larger ones already grafted being more expensive. In addition to the purchase of the pistachio plant, the maintenance costs of the crop must also be taken into account, such as irrigation, fertilization, phytosanitary treatments and pruning. These costs may vary depending on the technique used and ground conditions.

Profitability of pistachio cultivation

Although pistachio cultivation requires a high initial investment and about 5 years of waiting for production to be profitable, in the long term it can be very beneficial. Pistachio prices are generally high compared to other nuts, and both domestic and international demand is high. In addition, pistachio is a dried fruit that has high nutritional quality and gastronomic value and It is considered a superfood with multiple health benefits, which makes it very attractive to consumers. In general, it can be considered that pistachio cultivation has a high profitability potential.
  • The profitability of pistachio cultivation depends on several factors, such as the size and age of the plant, the cultivation techniques used, climatic conditions, and market supply and demand.
  • It is recommended to carry out rigorous economic planning before starting pistachio cultivation, taking into account both investment costs and maintenance costs.
  • It is important to be aware of possible variations in the market and adapt the crop to its demands, diversifying production and choosing pistachio varieties with specific characteristics that adapt to the needs of the market and our area.
The grafted pistachio plant It has become a very interesting option for those who want to grow this dried fruit. The choice of rootstock and the variety to be grown are fundamental factors for success in cultivation. In addition, resistance to pests and acceleration of production are some of the advantages offered by selecting a grafted plant. The care and maintenance of pistachio trees, as well as the correct harvesting and storage of the fruits, are key aspects to guarantee a good harvest.

Grafted pistachio plant

Ensuring the profitability of your plantation.

Grafted Pistachio Plant: Advantages and Tips for Cultivation

Choosing the right variety and rootstock

Choosing the appropriate variety and rootstock is essential for the success of growing the grafted pistachio plant. When choosing the variety, it is important to take into account factors such as climate, soil and planting characteristics. In addition, there are different rootstocks that offer specific advantages and characteristics, such as resistance to diseases or adaptation to saline soils. It is important to carefully select both the variety and the rootstock to adapt to the specific planting conditions.
Factors to consider when choosing the variety
Important factors to consider when choosing a pistachio variety include disease resistance, fruit production, and flowering time. Additionally, it is important to take climate and soil conditions into account as they can influence plant performance. Choosing a variety resistant to diseases such as Verticillium o Fusarium can reduce the need for chemicals and improve production.
Advantages and characteristics of different rootstocks
Rootstocks can influence the growth, soil adaptation, disease resistance and production of the pistachio plant. For example, some rootstocks can tolerate saline soils better, while others can improve tree productivity. It is important to select the appropriate rootstock for the specific planting conditions.

Grafting and planting of pistachio trees

The process of grafting and planting pistachio trees is crucial to the success of growing the grafted plant. The right time to graft pistachio trees is in summer, when branch growth and stem size are adequate. Tree planting can be done at any time of the year, avoiding the hottest summer months, as long as the environmental conditions are taken into account and correct irrigation and maintenance are carried out.
Pistachio plant grafting process
The pistachio plant grafting process involves attaching a portion of stem or bud of a selected variety to a suitable rootstock using an appropriate grafting technique. Grafting must be carried out at a time when environmental conditions are suitable and when the plant is in its best vegetative state. The success of the graft will depend on the quality of the plant material, as well as the weather conditions in the 24 hours after grafting.
Tips for a successful plantation
Planting the grafted pistachio plant requires adequate soil preparation, weed control and proper irrigation scheduling. It is important to plant at the right time and provide the right amount of irrigation and nutrients. Additionally, proper maintenance of the tree throughout the year and correct pruning can improve fruit production and quality.

Watering and fertilizing the pistachio plant

  • Irrigation is a critical factor for pistachio production, especially in the early growth phase. The amount and frequency of irrigation vary depending on the climatic zone and specific soil conditions. It is important not to overwater as this can encourage the development of diseases and pests. It is recommended to use a drip irrigation system for efficient water use.
  • Fertilization is equally important for pistachio production. It is necessary to provide the necessary nutrients for the plant through a correct subscriber. Fertilization is carried out at different times of the year, depending on the needs of each plant. It is advisable to use organic fertilizers or fertilizers that contain macro and micro nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, plus boron).

Prevention and control of diseases and pests

  • Pistachio is susceptible to various diseases and pests, many of which can cause serious damage to production. It is important to regularly monitor the plantation and maintain adequate cleaning to prevent the spread of diseases. Prevention is the best strategy, using phytosanitary products responsibly and in the correct doses.
  • Among the most common diseases are Phytophthora, Alternaria and the Verticillium. Among the most frequent pests are the fruit fly, the “Clytra” or “Galeruca” and the trunk borer. It is important to quickly identify the symptoms in order to act in time and minimize damage.

Pruning and maintenance of the pistachio tree

  • Pruning the pistachio tree is a key aspect in the cultivation and growth of the plant and to ensure good production. The main objectives of pruning are to control size and shape, improve sunlight penetration and ventilation, and remove diseased and damaged branches. It is advisable to perform annual pruning in winter, before growth begins in spring.
  • Regular maintenance of the tree consists of carrying out adequate cleaning to prevent the spread of diseases and pests, as well as regular monitoring of the general condition of the tree. In spring and summer, the shoots that grow below the graft must be removed to avoid imbalances in the root system.

Production and harvesting process of pistachios

The production of pistachios consists of different phases that, depending on the variety and climate, can have different durations. Flowering usually begins in early spring, and it is in summer when pistachios complete their ripening process. It is important to control irrigation during the ripening process so that the fruit has optimal organoleptic properties. The harvesting of the fruits is normally carried out with the help of a machine, a vibrator with an umbrella similar to that used in the olive tree. It is carried out when the shell of the pistachio changes to a dark reddish orange color and has a rough appearance. After harvesting, the pistachios undergo a drying process and are classified according to their size and quality.
Production phases and maturation time
  • Bloom: stage in which inflorescences appear and pollination occurs.
  • Growth and fattening: the pistachios begin to grow and gain weight
  • Maturation: Pistachios complete their ripening process in the summer and change color from green to dark reddish orange.
Fruit collection and storage techniques
To collect the fruits, a harvesting machine is used that vibrates the tree or its branch so that the pistachios fall to the ground, where they are collected. Pistachios undergo a drying process to reduce humidity and prevent the appearance of fungi and bacteria. The pistachios are then classified according to their size and quality for later marketing.

Pistachio varieties and production in different areas

The most common pistachio varieties in Spain are Kerman, Larnaka and Sirora. Climate and soil are determining factors in choosing the variety, since each one has different needs and adaptations to specific climates. The production of pistachios is usually concentrated in areas with Mediterranean and semi-arid climates, where the most favorable conditions for their cultivation exist. The most important producing area in Spain is Castilla-La Mancha. Pistachio is also produced in Andalusia, Extremadura and Castilla León but to a lesser extent. It should be noted that the production and quality of pistachios can vary significantly from one area to another.
Most common varieties according to flowering season
  • Early: Larnaka and Avdat.
  • Intermediate: Mateur and Sirora.
  • Late: Kerman and Kastel.
Production in different areas and climates of the Iberian Peninsula
In Castilla-La Mancha, it occurs in Ciudad Real, Toledo and Albacete. Cuenca to a lesser extent and very little in Guadalajara due to the excess cold, except in certain areas in the south of the province. In Andalusia, it is mainly focused on the province of Granada, although there are also important harvests in Malaga, Seville and Jaén. In Murcia, pistachio cultivation is concentrated in the Guadalentín Valley region. In the Valencian Community, pistachio production is concentrated in the regions of Ribera Baixa, Safor and Costera.

Where to buy pistachio plants

There are several options for purchasing high-quality grafted pistachio plants. Some companies specialized in the cultivation and sale of pistachios offer a wide catalog of grafted plants. In Mister Pistacho, as a producer nursery registered in the registry of nursery seed and plant producers with registration code: ROSVEG ES07454100 and health registration with RGSEAA number: 21.032557/M, it is possible to acquire already grafted pistachio plants O well rootstock and varieties and sticks of cold-preserved yolks separately to perform the graft yourself, although this last option requires experience and knowledge in the grafting process. Visit our Online store to consult our catalogue.

Buying grafted pistachio plants: the best option.

The purchase of grafted pistachio plants is recommended for those who wish to obtain quality fruits in less time. To achieve the desired results, it is necessary to buy the plants from specialized nurseries that offer a guarantee of quality and the suitability of the variety and the rootstock to the operating conditions. Mister Pistacho is one of the most prominent companies in this field, with a good catalog and recognized experience in pistachio cultivation.

Varieties and rootstocks available on the market.

There are different varieties of pistachio plants on the market: Kerman, Sirora or Larnaka are some of the most popular. Each of them has specific characteristics in terms of size and flavor of the fruits, so it is important to evaluate the options before making a decision. Regarding rootstocks, there are different varieties such as Pistacia terebinthus, Pistacia atlantica or the American hybrid UCB1, among others. The choice of variety and rootstock will depend on factors such as climate, soil type, availability of water resources, among others. Professional technical advice can be of great help when deciding the best combination for each terrain and need. In this sense, at Mister Pistacho we are at your disposal to provide you with the best specialized advice whenever you need it, simply by calling: +34 667 35 90 48.

To carry out the marketing and sale of pistachios, it is necessary to follow a series of steps that guarantee quality, quantity, certification and obtaining the best possible price. It is important to select the best date for harvesting pistachios, since the quality of the final product will depend on it. The sale of pistachios is carried out by kilograms of dried and peeled pistachios, mainly through specialized marketing companies or individually, although the latter option could be less profitable.

Valuation and usual prices of pistachios

The price of pistachios varies depending on various factors such as the quality of the product, the geographical area of production, size and market demand. In general, the value of pistachios per kilogram can range between 5-8 euros, although it may increase depending on demand or the quality of the final product. The recently created Talavera de la Reina price table It provides monthly updated sales prices from the farmer as well as sales prices from the processor/marketer to the importer or wholesaler. These prices, along with those of other markets such as Albacete, can be consulted on our page. pistachio prices.

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