Growing Pistachios

The pistachio (pistacia vera), a high desert tree, originated in western Asia and Asia Minor, made its way into Mediterranean Europe and now thrives in the dry climates of suitable areas of inland Australia.


To grow and bear fruit they require very hot summers (more than 600 hours >30C); very cold winters (more than 1,000 hours Summer and autumn rains may induce fungal problems and harvest difficulties.

Pistachio trees grow best and produce the most nuts in an arid semi-desert climate with long, dry, hot summers, low humidity and cool but not frigid winters. During the growing season, pistachio trees thrive on heat. Summer temperatures of around 37 degrees Celcius produce large quantities of the best nuts.

In pistachio, male and female flowers are produced on seperate trees.  A female tree planted singly will not produce nuts unless a male tree is growing nearby.  For the best chance of pollination, plant a male upwind of every 10 to 15 female trees.

Pistachio orchards are planted in areas with frequent but mild spring winds to pollinate the blossoms. After shedding their leaves in the fall, pistachio trees need a winter dormancy period of about 6 weeks with temperatures below 7.2 degrees Celcius.

A good summary of growing pistachios under Australian conditions is in the book: “A Handbook for Farmers and Investors”, published by the Rural Industries Development Corporation: Pistachios

Another excellent source of information is the University of Californian Fruit and Nut Research Information Centre’s on-line manual:
Pistachio Production Manual, 4th edition, 2005

The California Pistachio Research Board published the Good Agricultural Practices Manual, Guidelines for California Pistachio Growers in 2009, again a good source of information.  The manual can be downloaded here: GAP_for_Pistachio_Growers

Nurseries that supply pistachio rootstock and grafted pistachio trees (male and female):

CMV Farms – Pistachio Producers of Australia
RMB 2570 Murray Valley Highway
Robinvale, Vic 3549

Phone: 03 5026 9310
Mobile: 0400 445516
Fax: 03 5026 9234

Postal:RMB 2570 Murray Valley Highway,
Robinvale,Vic 3549


Chislett Farms Nursery
Nursery & Office Location: 833 Kenley Rd,
Kenley Vic 3597
Postal: 762 Kenley Road, Kenley Vic 3597

Telephone Enquires:
Office Phone Line
1: +613 5038 8238
Office Phone Line 2: +613 5038 8220
Fax: 08 9622 9513
Mobile: 0428 181 689
Email: – contact link via website below
Riverina Nut Company
Saunderson Road,                                                            
Leeton, NSW

Contact: Michele Valier
Telephone Enquiries: 0417 538 769



WA Pistachios
Pistachio Nut Tree Nursery
“The Farm” Hooper Road, Grass Valley (via Northam)
Postal: PO Box 429 Northam WA 6401

Telephone Enquires: 08 9622 9513
Fax: 08 9622 9513
Mobile: 0428 181 689



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