The Chinese pistache, known scientifically as Pistacia chinensis, can grow as high as 60 feet, although the specimen usually grows 25 to 30 feet high with a spread of about 15 feet. The Chinese pistache is popularly planted along streets and as a shade tree. Chinese pistache trees require little maintenance and are resistant to most pests and diseases. Propagation normally takes place by planting seed; however, it is possible to divide a sucker from the base of the tree and transplant it.
Collect the seeds from a Chinese pistache tree and remove the outer pulp from the seed by washing and scrubbing with a toothbrush. Rinse the seeds, then soak them in a bowl of water for 16 hours.
Soak a peat pot until the entire pot is moist. Place the seeds in a plastic sandwich bag and fill the bag halfway with peat moss. Mix the seeds into the peat moss and place the bag in the refrigerator for three months. Keep seeds away from a drawer of apples or bananas.
Soak the peat pots until they are completely moistened. Place one seed per pot and cover slightly with vermiculite. Spray the top of the pot with water once you've sown the seed.
Cover each peat pot with a plastic sandwich bag. Cut three holes in the top of each bag for air ventilation, and place the pots in a warm area with little light.
Check the seeds every few days to make sure they do not dry out. Mist them with the spray bottle if the vermiculite is starting to dry. They should start to germinate in about a month.
Move them to an area with more light once they start to germinate. Remove the plastic, but keep the soil moist. Transplant the seedlings to small pots using potting soil with a slow release houseplant fertilizer already in it.
Gradually move the seedlings into more and more light. When they can withstand full sun and all threat of frost is over, you can plant the seedlings outdoors. Chinese pistache prefer well-drained soil and full sun.
Things You Will Need
- Chinese pistache seeds
- Peat moss
- Peat pots
- Plastic sandwich bags
- Spray bottle
- Potting soil with fertilizer