Australian pistachios are carefully harvested in autumn. The trees are planted and spaced for ease of access into the orchard by the mechanical harvesting machines. Mechanical “tree shakers” shake the tree trunks until the pistachios fall onto the collection apparatus, thus ensuring they do not come into contact with the ground and can be transferred and processed immediately. This is important as it reduces the growth of mould fungus and aflatoxin.
Video of Mechanical Harvesting in California.
Dr Louise Ferguson’s review of mechanical harvesters: Ferguson_tree harvesters_2013