Almond trees (Prunus dulcis) are deciduous fruit trees. The fruit of these trees, the almond, is high in fiber, minerals, protein and Vitamin E, according to the University of California. These attractive trees are early-spring bloomers and will grow in warm climates. They are not self-pollinators, however, so home gardeners wishing to harvest almonds must plant these trees in pairs. The almonds are relatively easy to harvest, but home gardeners need to be careful to harvest at the right time.
Watch the developing fruit carefully. As they begin to grow, the almonds will first be small and light green, with a fuzzy outer shell. It will get harder as the summer progresses and slowly begin to split open in July.
Wait for the nuts to dry. The split in the hull will gradually widen, allowing the nut to dry on the tree. Eventually, the hull will separate entirely from the nut, according to the University of Georgia.
Check for harvest readiness. The almonds are ready to harvest when 75 percent are split all the way. If you wait until all of them are open, the birds will begin to harvest them before you can. Look at the nuts in the interior of the canopy and those on the lower part of the tree, as these mature last.
Sweep the area under the tree clean of debris. Or, lay down a tarp or blanket under the tree to "catch" the almonds.
Hit the small branches of the tree with a pole, or use a rubber mallet to hit the large branches. This is called "thrashing" and will dislodge the nuts from the tree to fall on the tarp below. Large orchards have machines that shake the tree trunks in order to harvest the almonds.
Collect the fallen almonds immediately to prevent ants and other insects from getting at them.