The almond tree, or Prunus dulcis, originally came to America from Asia and North Africa. The almond tree is highly sought after for its fruit which yields the almond nut. The tree does best where the summers are long, hot and dry. Typically an almond tree grows 20 to 30 feet tall and is considered to be a small tree. Leaves are pale green with a grey tinge and are 3 to 5 inches long with a pink bloom. The fruit is leathery and in late summer or fall the fruit will split revealing the almond. The almond tree has many varieties each with different traits that make them appealing here are a few of them.
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All in One
"The All in One" variety is a semi-dwarf tree which means it only grows to 15 feet or half the size of a normal almond tree. This makes it ideal for back yards where space is an issue. It is considered the best crop for home orchards. It is a self fertile tree which means it does not need to be pollinated so you can grow just one tree. This also makes it valuable because it can be used as a pollenizer to pollinate almond trees that can not self pollinate. The fruit from this tree ripens in late September or early October and is considered a soft shelled nut.
"Garden Prince" is another semi-dwarf tree which grows 10 to 12 feet producing a soft shelled almond. The fruit ripens in late September to early October but requires up to 400 chill hours to bear fruit. Like the "All in One," this variety is also self fertile. The leaves on this tree are dense and the tree has a very showy pink blossom prior to fruiting.
"Hall’s Hardy" variety is a hard shell small nut variety which ripens in October. This variety also has a pink bloom and is often planted just for its beautiful flower. It is a full size almond tree that does better with a pollenizer such as the “Garden Prince” or and the “All in One." The "Hall’s Hardy" is very cold tolerant and in fact requires 800 chill hours to fruit.
If you are in an area with late frost and mild winters then the "Mission Texas" variety is your pick. This particular variety is the safest to grow for a cold winter.
The almond has a small kernel which has a semi hard-shell nut and it is a heavy producer of almonds. This is a full sized tree that tolerates poor soil conditions and is highly adaptable. It possesses beautiful white pink flower and the fruit ripens in October.
"Nonpareil" is an excellent all around variety with a nut that can be shelled by hand. It is a full-sized almond tree and is the number one commercial almond. This variety is adaptable to most locations. The almond ripens in September and is a heavy producer of large shelled almonds. The fruit requires a pollenizer such as an "All in One" tree and 400 chill hours.
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