Archive for February, 2013

Almond Tree Blooming

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Our Garden Prince dwarf almond tree is in full bloom for the first time. I planted it about 4 years ago. Although it had about a dozen blossoms last February, and even less two years ago, this is the first year that it has been full of blossoms. Garden Prince is a self-fruitful variety, meaning it doesn’t need another variety of almond tree growing nearby to cross-pollinate with in order to set nuts.

Our tree hasn’t set any nuts yet, but I am hopeful that it will set nuts this year. I have never seen almond trees grown in the bay area, at least that I can identify. Although their leaves look very much like peach tree leaves, so they’re hard to spot. I planted this almond tree as an experiment to see if it would set nuts here, and if any nuts that it did set would ripen in our mild summers. I know that almonds usually need hot summers to ripen properly.

We have had more than enough chill hours this winter for almonds. According to the UC David research center, inland parts of the bay area have received between about 900 and 1000 hours below 45 degrees so far this winter (California Chill Hours). The Garden Prince variety is listed as needing only 250 chill hours according to Dave Wilson Nursery.

In any event, even if the nuts it sets are not edible, this almond tree makes a nice landscape plant. It was the first tree to bloom in our yard this year just after Valentines day, and its pink blossoms clustered at the ends of its upright branches are very attractive.

February 24 2013 | Almond | 1 Comment »