Growing Brazil Nut Trees

Written by bryan ordman
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Growing Brazil Nut Trees
Brazil nuts are used in a variety of dishes around the world. (Brazil nuts image by Alison Bowden from

Brazil nut trees are exclusive to the Amazonian rainforests of South America. The process of growing a Brazil nut tree can require quite an investment of time and can take between 10 and 20 years to begin producing actual Brazil nuts. Brazil nut trees need to have a nearly perfect ecological setting in order to grow properly and produce the Brazil nuts which are highly sought after. In fact, an intricate balance is necessary between the tree, a species of bees, orchids and a certain type of rodent.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Undisturbed Amazonian rainforest area
  • Brazil tree fruit
  • Brazil nut tree seeds
  • Orchids
  • Orchid bees

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  1. 1

    Locate a large undisturbed portion of Amazonian rainforest along the Amazonian River basin in South America, as the trees grow to be quite thick and over 100 feet tall.

    Growing Brazil Nut Trees
    Brazil trees typically grow along the Amazon River. (phillipine river view - loboc river image by Paul O'Hearn from
  2. 2

    Locate a Brazil tree fruit, which resembles a cantaloupe, and crack it open to gain access to its seedlings.

    Growing Brazil Nut Trees
    In nature, the large agouti rat is the only species able to crack a Brazil nut open with its teeth. (mouse image by timur1970 from
  3. 3

    Plant the Brazil nut tree seedlings. Monitor the growth of the trees over the coming years to ensure an undisturbed ecosystem.

    Growing Brazil Nut Trees
    The rainforest's fragile ecosystem must be preserved to ensure proper growth of the Brazil nut tree. (Field prepared for new planting image by Dragan Trifunovic from
  4. 4

    Introduce orchids near the tree once it begins to grow in order to attract a special species of "orchid bees" to naturally pollinate the tree and stimulate growth of the tree, its fruit and nuts.

    Growing Brazil Nut Trees
    The United States imports nearly nine tons of Brazil nuts each year. (Brazil Nuts image by TMLP from

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