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Frequently Asked Questions

What does HACCP stand for ?
Do you sell pistachio trees ?

How can I request a postcard ?
Do you ship pistachio trees ?
How many trees do I need ? 
Which tree produces pistachios ?
Can I grow pistachios where I live ?
If I received a postcard last year, will I automatically receive one next year ?
How much do pistachio trees cost ?
Do you guarantee the trees ?
Do you sell rootstock ?
What size are the trees that are for sale ?
How tall and wide will my tree get ?
How old are the trees when purchased ?
How big is the container the trees come in ?
When will my tree start producing pistachios ?
How long will my tree produce pistachios ?
What type of trees do you sell ?
Can I take trees into Mexico ?
How far apart should I plant the trees ?
What type of fertilizer should I use and when should I fertilize ?
How often do I water the trees ?
When is the best time to prune trees ?
Can I purchase some bud wood ?
How do I graft buds onto rootstock and when is the best time to do this ?
Should I spray trees with insecticide ?
How can I get more information on the pistachio tree ?

What does HACCP stand for ?

The acronym HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point , which is a prevention-based food safety system. HACCP systems are designed to prevent the occurrence of potential food safety problems. This is achieved by assessing the inherent risks attributable to a product or a process and then determining the necessary steps that will control the identified risks.

HACCP is a systematic approach to food safety which will dramatically improve the level of food safety. The NACMCF has developed the seven HACCP principles discussed within this Annex. The FDA recommends the implementation of a HACCP system throughout the food industry using these NACMCF recommendations.

Essentially, HACCP is a system that identifies and monitors specific food borne hazards - biological, chemical, or physical properties - that can adversely affect the safety of the food product. This hazard analysis serves as the basis for establishing critical control points (CCPs). CCPs identify those points in the process that must be controlled to ensure the safety of the food.

Further, critical limits are established that document the appropriate parameters that must be met at each CCP. Monitoring and verification steps are included in the system, again, to ensure that potential risks are controlled. The hazard analysis, critical control points, critical limits, and monitoring and verification steps are documented in a HACCP plan. Seven principles have been developed which provide guidance on the development of an effective HACCP plan.

HACCP represents an important food protection tool. HACCP is not something limited to food franchises or chains. The concept can be applied by small independents as well as national or regional companies and can be integrated into the recipes and standard operating procedures of any size establishment. Employee training is key to successful implementation.

Employees must learn which control points are critical in an operation and what the critical limits are at these points, for each preparation step they perform. Establishment management must also follow through by routinely monitoring the food operation to verify that employees are keeping the process under control by complying with the critical limits.

As is the case with industry, mastering and applying regulatory aspects of HACCP is not limited to large state programs. Local jurisdictions can effectively promote HACCP and apply the concept during inspections. The implementation of HACCP continues to evolve and to be further refined as new products and procedures are developed and as hazards and their control measures are more clearly defined.

To meet the challenges presented by advances in food research, product development, and their impact at retail, regulatory personnel must keep themselves informed. Food protection publications issued by the food industry, professional organizations, and other groups and continuing education programs can be particularly helpful in providing an understanding of food operations and how the application of HACCP can bring a focus to food safety that traditional inspection methods have lacked.

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Do you sell pistachio trees ?
Yes, we normally sell pistachio trees in February-March of each year. If you will give us your name and address, we will send you a postcard when we have trees to sell. This does not guarantee you the purchase of a tree. Trees will be available on a first come, first serve basis. Trees can be paid for in advance if you would like us to hold the trees for you.

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How can I request a postcard ?
Fill out the request form, and we'll add you to our list.

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Do you ship pistachio trees ?
No, trees must be picked up at our retail store in Alamogordo , New Mexico .

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How many trees do I need ?  
You need a minimum of 2 trees 1 male and 1 female. You need one male tree for up to nine female trees.

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Which tree produces pistachios ?
The male tree produces pollen and the female tree produces the pistachios.

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Can I grow pistachios where I live ?
The pistachio tree is a native desert plant that needs an arid climate. It must have long, hot, dry summers and chilling in winter (1,000 hours under 45 F) but the ground should not freeze. The Phoenix desert is too warm in the winter for pistachio production, and northern New Mexico is too cold in the winter. Pistachio trees will not tolerate high humidity in the summer, and they are sensitive to spring frosts. The root system will not tolerate prolonged wet conditions. Producing areas in the United States are the San Joaquin Valley in California (Stockton, Fresno, Madera, Visalia, and Bakersfield), a small area around Tucson, Arizona and the southeast corner of Arizona (Douglas and Wilcox), south central New Mexico (Lordsburg, Deming, Las Cruces, Alamogordo, and Carlsbad), and parts of West Texas (El Paso to Pecos).

It is also recommended that pistachio trees not be planted in fields where cotton was previously planted. In these areas, tree mortality is high due to Verticillium wilt disease caused by a soil-borne fungus. However, California has developed a wilt resistant variety called the UCB-1.

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If I received a postcard last year, will I automatically receive one next year?
No. We only send postcards to customers who request them for that year.

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How much do pistachio trees cost?
Around $28.50

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Do you guarantee the trees?
The only guarantee we give is that trees are alive at the time of purchase. We have no control of the care of the trees after that.

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Do you sell rootstock?
Yes, the UCB or Atlantica varieties. Rootstock is sold to farmers who plan on budding the trees in the field; for casual use, we recommend you purchase budded trees.

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What size are the trees that are for sale?
It varies year to year, but trees are usually 3 to 4 feet tall.

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How tall and wide will my tree get?
The pistachio tree is a small tree and will grow to about 30 feet high and up to 25 to 30 feet wide at full maturity, depending on how the tree is pruned.

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How old are the trees when purchased?
Budded trees are usually 2 years old. Rootstock trees are 1 year old.

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How big is the container the trees come in?
Trees normally come in a 2.5 gallon soft plastic container filled with dirt and peat moss.

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When will my tree start producing pistachios?
Trees start producing in the fourth or fifth year (yield is about pound of pistachios). Good production takes eight to ten years. Full maturity is reached around the sixteenth year (yield is up to 80 pounds of pistachios).

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How long will my tree produce pistachios?
The oldest tree we have read about still producing is found in Iran ; it is over 700 years old.

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What type of trees do you sell?
It varies year to year, but usually the male trees are Peters on UCB rootstock and the female trees are kerman on UCB rootstock.

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Can I take trees into Mexico ?
Contact the Mexican Department of Agriculture.

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How far apart should I plant the trees?
Trees should be planted a minimum of 17 feet apart.

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What type of fertilizer should I use and when should I fertilize?
Use any type of tree fertilizer and fertilize in the spring through mid-July.

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How often do I water the trees?
Keep the tree in good moisture content April through mid-September. Water once a week for 12 hours with a slow drip system. Water one more time after harvest. Do not water October or November to aid the tree in going dormant. After the tree is dormant, a monthly watering during the winter months will help the tree be more cold resistant. Resume weekly watering in the spring when the trees begin to bud.

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When is the best time to prune trees?
For the first 4 to 5 years, trees should generally be pruned in the summer and during the dormant season. After the basic framework of the tree is established, only light pruning is necessary.

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Can I purchase some bud wood?
Bud wood is a stick approximately 6 to 8 inches long with about 5 to 6 useable buds on it. Each bud costs 35.

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How do I graft buds onto rootstock and when is the best time to do this?
Buds are collected in February for April use or in July for immediate (for optimum grafting). Male buds are taken from male trees and female buds are taken from female trees. Buds are wrapped in a wet cloth and kept in the refrigerator until use. The fresher the buds, the better chance you have of successfully grafting your tree. The only time to graft buds is when the bark is slipping (you can peel the bark away) and leaves are coming out on the tree. Pistachio trees are budded like apples and roses are a T-bud.

To graft a bud, make a vertical cut about 1 inch long in the rootstock. Make a horizontal cut through the bark about 1/3 the distance around the rootstock. Give the knife a slight twist to open the two flaps of bark. To cut the bud, starting about inch below the bud, slice under the bud until about 1 inch beyond the bud. About inch above the bud, a horizontal cut is made through the bark and into the wood, permitting the removal of the bud piece. Insert the bud into the cut on the rootstock and secure the bud to the tree using bud rubbers. Eventually the bud rubbers will dissolve on the tree making it unnecessary to remove the rubber. Bud rubbers can be purchased at a nursery.

If the bud takes, you will get a branch growing on your tree. If it doesn't take, it will dry up. If the bud doesn't take, graft the tree again. There are professionals available who will graft trees for you; ask at your local nursery for anyone who can graft apples or roses they can graft pistachio trees, too.

Should I spray trees with insecticide?
Spray trees with insecticide as needed.

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How can I get more information on the pistachio tree?
Fill out the contact form, and we'll add send you information.

 

 

 
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