The almond is a species of tree that is mainly grown in Iran and its surrounding countries. In recent times it is also cultivated in other places. Almond means the edible seeds of the tree. The almond tree belongs to the kingdom of Plantae. In this article, we will tell you how does an almond grow and much more.
The almond is a deciduous tree. It is about 4 to 10 meters in height and its trunk is about 30cm in diameter. The young twigs that appear are green in color but turn to purplish when they are exposed to direct sun rays.
The leaves are about 8 to 13 cm long with serrated margins and the color of the flowers varies from white to pale pink.
The word almond is derived from the Old French word “almande”. The almond fruit is about 3.5 to 6 cm in length. Almond possesses a high nutritional value which includes 579kcal of energy, 21.6g of carbohydrates, 49.9g of fat, 21.2g of protein, 4.4g of a gram.
US Department of Agriculture recommended almonds as one of the healthy foods and a good source of protein.
Water Requirement For Best Almond Growth
Almonds need a proper quantity of water for their growth and survival. A single almond requires about 1.1 gallons of water. One almond along with its shell and hull needs 1 to 3 gallons of water.
For the growth of one pound of almonds, nearly 1900 gallons of water is needed. For an easy and constant supply of water, underground water through aquifers is provided to the field. Therefore almonds are popularly known as Water intensive crops.
Almond Trees, The Most Water Intensive
Almonds use a large amount of water compared to other tree nuts. It requires 1.1 gallons of water for the growth of a single almond and 1900 gallons of water for one pound of almonds. For the growth of a single pound of shelled almonds, it requires about 2100 gallons of water.
5 gallons of water are required for the growth of only single-shelled almonds. Almond trees need water throughout the year for their growth, development, and survival.
Time Period For The Growth Of Almond Tree
Almond tree takes at least five to twelve years to produce almonds. A mature almond tree takes about twenty-five years to produce fruits. Almond trees require specific weather conditions to produce fruits.
In spring, almond trees produce flowers in the month of February and March. Healthy almond trees grow up to 8 to 15 inches each year. It is not very difficult to grow almond trees but it will only harvest their nuts under special climatic conditions.
Almond trees take a time of about 3 to 6 years before bearing nuts.
Nature And Purpose Of Almond Flowers
Almond flowers are dwarf, multi-stemmed, and deciduous shrubs. It is a pink-flowered bush. In the month of February and March, almond trees start producing flowers. Almond pollens possess strong nutritional values.
Almond flowers bear aesthetic appeal and are basically used for honey production. Sometimes almond flowers can be consumed raw. The flowers are very delicate in nature and cannot withstand strong heat.
The buds of the almond tree need cold weather from the month of November to February and after that almond tree produces flowers that will pollinate. The almond belongs to the category of the rose family and produces medium-sized flowers along with edible nuts.
Are Almonds Really A Tree Nut?
Almonds are tree nuts. The seed is the edible part that is grown inside a fleshy fruit. A hard-shelled nut grows with both the fruit and seed inside. Tree nuts are actually the seeds of several fruit-bearing trees.
Tree nut means any nut that comes from a tree. It contains fat, fiber, and nutrients that are essential for one’s health and diet. Almond fruit is a shelled staple food. As the almond ripens, the flesh of the fruit is removed from the plant with the actual almond seed inside.
Calorie Composition In Almonds
Almonds are rich in nutritional values and contain 4184 joules of energy. Consuming almonds are very essential.
Here is the list that portrays the nutritional values that are present in almonds.
|Total lipid (fat)||0.61g|
Leading Almonds Producers In The World
California is the pioneer in the production and supply of almonds. 80% of the world’s supply comes from California. Apart from California, almonds are also produced in other countries namely, Spain, Italy, and Australia. In California almond is the largest agricultural export.
In the 1700s almond trees were brought from Spain to California. Almond is a native tree of southwestern Asia. Almond is an economically very important crop and grows well in the Mediterranean region between (28⁰ and 48⁰ N) and (20⁰ and 40⁰ S) covering major parts of California.
More than 25 types of almonds are grown in California, Marcona, and Valencia. Almonds are also exported to Europe for use as a sweet paste in pastries and candies. Asia uses almonds to use in vegetarian dishes.
Procedure For Best Almond Harvesting
Before harvesting the almonds, their nature and variety should be taken into consideration. Almonds are ready to harvest from early August to late September. Harvest should start when 95% of the nuts have split to expose their inner shell almonds.
Almond harvesting includes several procedures-
- Almond shaking- As soon as the almonds are ready to be harvested, a shaking machine is brought to the field. With the aid of the shaking machine the nuts are separated from the tree. The machines work with the help of the guard on their grips, to prevent any sort of damage to the trees. After shaking off the nuts, they are allowed to dry on the field for 4 to 7 days.
- Almond Sweeping– After the almonds are dried, sweepers enter the field to sweep the nuts into a windrow. Sweeping is essential as harvesting machines cannot enter in the interior areas to collect the nuts.
- Almond harvesting– After sweeping, harvesting machines are brought inside the field. The machine is moved through the entire field to collect all of the nuts that have been swept into the windrows. It helps to remove the excess soil, debris and other unwanted matters that are being picked up while sweeping. As the harvesting machine’s back trailers are completely filled up, a self-propelled shuttle is attached with it to offload the harvested nuts.
- Almond stocking- After unloading the harvested nuts, they are stored in piles under plastic tarps. Each stock pile is separated and is sent to the desired location.
- Fumigating almonds- Almonds are fumigated to protect it from insects and pathogens. They are fumigated within 2 days of their packing.
Equipment Required For Almond Harvesting
Several harvesting equipments is needed to harvest the almonds.
- During the initial harvest phase, a machine named Shaker is needed to shake the almonds off the tree.
- After this, sweeping machines are needed to sweep the nuts from the field and to transport them to local processing unit.
- Finally, harvesting machines are used to collect each and every nut and also to remove all soils, debris.
- Sometimes self-propelled shuttle is attached with the machine to offload the harvested nuts. It is attached only when the machine’s back trailers are filled completely.
Role Of Different Seasons In Almond Farming And Harvesting
Almond farming is very time-consuming as it takes nearly 25 years to produce the first crop.
- From November to January almond trees become dormant, losing their leaves.
- Between the period of mid February and mid March buds of almond tree burst into beautiful white, light pink flowers.
- From the period of March to June, kernels of almonds mature to full size.
- In July, almond hulls split open
- From august to September, tree shakers harvest the crops. This machine shakes the tree well to get the almonds off the tree.
Almond Tree: How Big Do They Grow?
Almond trees require huge and ample space for their proper growth. It grows up to 30 feet in height. Almond trees should be nourished well and it requires well-drained loamy soil along with full sunlight. So it should not be planted near any shady areas.
Almond trees are deep-rooted and survive well in fertile, well-drained sandy loam soil. There must be a gap of 19 to 26 feet between two trees. It consumes a large quantity of water and should be irrigated from time to time although it is a drought resistance tree.
Healthy almond trees grow up to 8 to 15 inches each year.
For better growth of the tree, several steps are to be followed-
- Proper selection of a sunny area.
- Setting the saplings of the almond tree.
- Digging deep holes to accommodate plant’s root system.
- Planting the tree properly inside the hole and filling the hole with well drained soil.
- Pruning the small twigs.
Nature Of Almonds And Peaches
Almonds are tree nuts and also the seed of a fruit. Almonds are the seed of the almond fruit which is popularly known as “drupe”. It is very closely related to peaches. Almonds and peaches are so close to each other that almonds can be grafted onto the root system of peaches.
Both almonds and peach belong to the Rosaceae family of the Prunus genus. This shows that the almonds and peach are almost the same tree producing different fruits. Almonds are the fruits of almond trees.
Appearance Of Almond Trees
- Almond trees are deciduous in nature with height varying from 13 to 33 feet.
- The expansion of the trunk is 12 inches in diameter.
- Almond trees are rounded shaped with pale pink flowers.
- The leaves are dark green coloured and 3 to 6 inches long, having fine toothed serrated margins.
- Almond trees require enough space to grow and spread their roots.
Types Of Nuts Grow In The Ground
All tree nuts grow in the ground. Almonds, Brazil nuts, Cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts all are tree nuts and grow in the ground.
Peanut is the edible seed of the plant like that of almonds and is known as groundnuts.
Best Almond Producers Of The World
The countries that produce the best almonds are-
California in unites states, Spain, Iran, Morocco, Turkey, Italy, Australia, Algeria, and Tunisia.
These countries provide facilities for large-scale farming and the favorable weather conditions led to the growth of almonds.
Hope you got enough information about how does an almond grows and everything you should know about almond and almond trees.Thank you for reading!
Keep Reading-Different Methods To Look After Your Orchids Indoor