How to prune the Pistachio
The pistachio (Pistacia vera L.) is a fruit tree of the Anacardiaceae family originating from a vast area of Asia Minor, Syria and Turkestan.
This plant is spread mainly in Iran, Turkey, Gracia and Syria. Recently it has also been introduced in the United States and in Italy it is grown almost exclusively in Sicily, especially in the provinces of Agrigento and Catania.
Pistachio, contrary to popular belief, is a species that, in specialized crops, tends to be a more delicate plant than those that grow in unspecialized conditions and in the most natural state.
The productivity of this plant is influenced not only by the type of soil but also by the rootstock and the choice of varieties per area.
Varieties and rootstocks –
The rootstock significantly influences the productivity of the pistachio and the vigor of the plant; normally the plant multiplies by grafting to vegetating bud both on spontaneous terebinth, originating the “natural” plants, and on pistachio and terebinth seedlings and on rooted terebinth suckers, giving rise to artificial plants. If grafted on terebinth it is able to vegetate even in shallow or rocky soils.
As for the cultivated cultivars, these are evaluated according to the productivity and qualitative characteristics of the fruits; remember: Bianca or Napoletana (which is the most widespread), Cerasola or Femminella, Cappuccia, Insolia, Agostina and Natalora. The first two are cultivated almost everywhere, the others are mainly local.
Pruning Technique –
The pistachio plant, immediately after planting, must undergo training pruning. This consists in forming a structure with 3 or 5 main branches, laid at 1.20-1.30 cm above the ground; progressively, it is necessary to eliminate the arrow, to balance the shape of the tree, and therefore to interrupt the strong apical dominance.
The first year, the grafted seedling is pruned at the height at which you want to develop the crown, formed by the main, secondary and tertiary branches (as mentioned 1.20-1.30 cm).
Subsequently, in fruiting pruning, it is necessary to avoid branches that cast shadows on others and to favor the aeration of the foliage.
Since the pistachio is a plant that, as well as in height, tends to develop laterally this means that the sixth of the plant goes from 7 x 7 up to 10 x 10 meters.
Finally, when a rejuvenation or rejuvenation pruning is necessary, dry branches, dried ones and damaged ones will be eliminated.