Training New Pistachios

Proper training should start now

New pistachio trees don’t begin fruiting for at least five to seven years but remain productive for 300 years or more. That’s why training (aka pruning) your trees is so crucial when they’re young.

Principles of tree training

As a grower, you already understand that a key to successful harvesting and production is ensuring your crops grow in the right shape. Your newly planted pistachio trees won’t begin fruiting for five to seven years, and it may take another five years before they’re fully productive. But that doesn’t mean you have any time to relax. If you want profitable yields and an easier harvest, training your trees has to begin now.

It’s also important to remember these four main concepts of tree training.

1. All pruning, and therefore training, is dwarfing. A pruned tree may have the desired shape, but it will always have less total growth than an unpruned tree.

2. Dormant training (winter) is the most invigorating. Removing portions of a tree at this time results in more food available to the remaining growing points. They therefore grow at a faster rate in the spring and, as individual branches, they usually grow longer. This is an important concept for pistachios since they grow slowly and require dormant pruning to create adequate growth in selected limbs.


3. In-season training (tipping) has the greatest dwarfing effect on trees. This is because portions of the tree are being removed which the tree has expended energy to produce. Commonly called summer pruning, in-season tipping also reduces the amount of foliage, and thus, the amount of growth substances produced by photosynthesis. Therefore growers should not delay in-season tipping when training young trees, because excessive shoot growth and foliage is removed. In-season tipping performed for branching should only remove that amount of shoot growth that can be manually pinched off. Avoid ever having to remove more than six inches (15 centimeters) from any single shoot.

4. Heading cuts (removing only part of a limb) stimulate more vigor (faster growth) than thinning cuts (removing an entire limb at its point of origin). Heading cuts are most often used on young trees to direct
growth, force branching and produce long shoots with rapid growth. Thinning cuts are used to control tree shape, remove unwanted limbs and maintain tree vigor at a desired level. Thinning cuts also remove
fewer buds so they have less of an invigorating effect on subsequent growth.

Naturally, this training will have quite a stressful effect on your new pistachio trees. That’s where MultiFIX comes in. By feeding and strengthening the microbes already in your soil, MultiFIX strengthens your new trees as well, making them more than strong enough to handle this stress — along with many other stresses your trees will experience over the next 300 years.

MultiFIX in action on new pistachio trees

Take a look at the video below. MultiFIX made this Tulare County grower’s soil and trees more productive in almost no time.  We can do the same for you, whatever your crop. Call 559.651.5050 and order MultiFIX today.

Pistachio trees at two years with MultiFIX®
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Pistachio trees at two years without MultiFIX®