How to Grow Nonpareil Almond Trees

Overview

Tasty nonpareil almonds are the most popular type of almond on the market, which may make growing your own nonpareil almond supply right in your backyard sound like a great idea. However, nonpareil almond trees are very difficult to grow. In fact, they are nearly impossible to grow anywhere outside of the Pacific Coast of the United States. But if you live in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 7 through 9 and would like to take on the challenge, start with a young sapling. Nut trees have long taproots, and the larger the tree, the more likely its taproot will be damaged during transplantation.

Step 1

Dig a hole roughly three times as wide and three times as deep as the container that your nonpariel almond sapling is currently growing in. Almond trees need full sun to grow.

Step 2

Fill the hole with water and allow it to drain.

Step 3

Create a soil mixture that is 1/2 excavated soil, 1/4 sand and 1/4 aged compost.

Step 4

Carefully remove the sapling from its container. Check its root ball and prune any damaged roots. If there is a delay between the time you take the sapling out of its container and the time you put it in the hole, be sure to keep its roots moist.

Step 5

Plant the sapling. Back fill the hole with enough of your soil mixture so that the almond tree sapling's root crown sits roughly 2 inches above the soil when placed in the hole. Back fill the hole with the rest of your soil mixture. Firm the soil down around the plant's roots with your hands.

Step 6

Water the soil thoroughly, but not so much so that the ground is soaking. Water your nonpareil almond frequently so that the soil stays moist to a depth of 4 inches.

Step 7

Prune the almond tree next spring so that only three to four healthy branches, set at wide angles to one another, remain. The following winter, begin annual late-winter pruning: remove any old, diseased or dead wood, prune any branches that cross or crowd one another, and thin the center of the tree to allow light and air to penetrate the crown of the tree.

Step 8

Fertilize with 4 ounces of any commercial nitrogen fertilizer applied 18 inches away from the trunk once your nonpareil almond tree has produced new shoots that are 6 inches in length. Continue to apply fertilizer two to three times per growing season according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Tips and Warnings

  • Almond trees are vulnerable to a fungus for which there is no known cure. However, you can protect your nonpareil almond tree from nematodes and other soil-borne predators by having your soil tested and treated if necessary. It is also a good idea to disinfect the saplings roots with a product like Galltrol, which prevents the development of crown gall.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Aged compost
  • Nitrogen fertilizer
  • Sand
  • Pruning shears

References

  • University of California: Almond Tree Planting
  • University of California: Efficient Use of Nitrogen in Almonds
Keywords: nonpareil sapling, almod sapling, nematodes

About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.