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How to Harvest Pistachios

Pistachios are native to Asia and grow best in areas with long hot summers and dry winters. Most pistachio trees are grown in California because the climate is ideal. However, pistachio trees can grow anywhere with a dry, hot climate. Pistachio trees produce pistachio nuts. While pistachio trees take seven to 10 years to produce a full load of nuts, the wait is worth it. And harvesting pistachios is simple.

Harvest pistachios in the late summer when the nuts are ripe--that is, when the shell around the pistachio is loose. Some varieties of pistachio change color when they are ripe, going from green to red or red to yellow.

Lay tarps beneath the pistachio tree, making sure to cover the entire area under the tree.

Shake the trunk of the pistachio tree. Ripe nuts should fall out of the tree and land on the tarps.

Use plastic pipe to hit any branches with remaining nuts to make the nuts fall onto the tarps.

Collect all of the pistachios from the tarps and place them in a bucket.

Remove the hull of the pistachios by hand. Pistachio hulls should peel off easily.

Rinse the hulled pistachios in cold water. Remove the nuts from the water and set them out to dry on a screen. Allow them to dry for three to four days. They are then ready to eat.

Grow Pistachios

The pistachio (Pistacia vera) often is used as a shade tree, aside from providing a healthy snack. Dig holes for your pistachio seedlings that are deep enough to accommodate the root ball, and twice as wide, to allow the root system to spread. Remove the seedlings from the container carefully and cut away any damaged or broken roots before planting. A mature pistachio tree can produce upwards of 50 lbs. of nuts in a single season.


You may roast or salt pistachios if you choose.


Do not harvest pistachios that have landed in the dirt.

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