The almond tree blossom is a highlight in nature. Although the almond tree comes from the Far East, it has also established itself well in Central Europe and is at home in many of our gardens. We do not have almond tree plantations, but almonds can also be harvested under our climatic conditions, but not as many and not as regularly. Late frosts are dangerous. They cannot harm the flowers, but they destroy the early fruit sets. There is then no or only a scanty harvest.
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General information about the almond tree
A distinction is made between sweet and bitter almonds. The sweet almond is ideal for baking cakes, for desserts, for making liqueurs, for almond oil, as a basis for marzipan, as roasted almonds or for consumption raw. Bitter almonds are inedible raw. They are mostly used in the cosmetics industry. However, almond oil is also made from bitter almonds.
Almonds are healthy. They reduce the risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases. Just 20 g of almonds a day cut the risk in half. They also lower cholesterol and are high in healthy folic acid.
Care of an almond tree
Almond trees are actually shrubs. They are only grafted on the trunk because they just look better that way.
A variety suitable for Germany is the so-called Dürkheimer Krachmandel. The Lauranne variety is also suitable. It is important to know whether it is a type of self-pollinator, otherwise you will need another type of pollinator. Peach trees are also suitable for this. If you don’t want to harvest almonds and only value great almond blossom, an ornamental almond tree is recommended. They are quite resilient and easy to care for.
Almonds thrive best in warm places. There are some almond plantations in the Mediterranean region, as well as in the USA, Australia, Spain, France, Pakistan and Iran. Everywhere it is warmer than here. In Germany, the trees thrive best in a wine-growing climate. Almond trees are quite demanding when it comes to the perfect location. But they can then be up to 6 meters high and really stately.
- A warm and sunny location is ideal.
- Definitely sheltered from the wind!
- Young trees in particular are sensitive to drafts and heat
- It is ideal if the sun does not hit the tree until the afternoon in spring.
- A place in front of a pergola, hedge, wall or house wall facing southwest is favorable.
The almond tree is also somewhat demanding when it comes to the substrate. He likes a warm soil that must not be compacted under any circumstances. Waterlogging is not tolerated, but the substrate should not be too dry either. The right soil is also important for keeping the bucket so that the wood feels comfortable.
- Warm, chalky soil
- Permeable, deep and light
- Under no circumstances heavy soil!
- Sensitive to surface compaction
- Potted plants: high-quality potted potting soil and never a high proportion of peat!
Planting an almond tree is not complicated. You just have to know that it is a tree suitable for our latitudes. If that is the case, you can plant the wood in the garden. Otherwise, it is advisable to keep them in a bucket and to keep them frost-free over the winter.
- The best time to plant is late summer. Then it’s not so hot anymore.
- Many almond trees are available in stores in spring. However, you have to be careful. Very often they are ornamental almond trees that never bear fruit.
- You plant as deep as the tree was in the pot.
- Dip the balls in water beforehand until no more air bubbles rise!
- Don’t forget to pour on!
Water and fertilize
Almond trees are sensitive to total drought. Plants need plenty of water, especially in pots. However, standing moisture is to be avoided!
- In the first two years of standing, pouring is particularly important
- Only water when the soil is slightly dry.
- Then pour it thoroughly!
- Not much has to be poured later!
- In their homeland, almond trees get by with 200 to 300 mm of rainfall per year.
- Waterlogging is not tolerated!
- Fertilize in moderation in autumn and in spring before flowering
- Compost is best.
An almond tree is cut so that it retains its typical shape. This is usually not necessary with a Staruch. Nevertheless, you can also cut here, should this become necessary. A distinction is made between tapering and thinning cuts. In addition, scissors must be used in the event of illness.
The clearing cut is made after flowering. A neat and, above all, abundant pruning will ensure that the shape is maintained and the tree will bloom profusely for the next year. Without a pruning, the bloom becomes less and less.
- Cut out branches that grow inwards!
- Avoid forks of branches, as this is where rainwater collects. That, in turn, is a good place for rot.
- Remove branches and shoots that cross each other! Cut directly at the base!
- Branches that run parallel are unfavorable. Remove one of them!
- Cut out vertically growing shoots and any that grow unnaturally.
- Cut out old and dead wood!
- Cut the two-year-old shoots that have already bloomed back to the old wood?
- Cut annual shoots so that the top bud on the shoot points outwards.
The rejuvenation pruning is carried out in winter. The best time is in January, but the temperatures must be above 5 ° C. Do not cut in the sunshine! It is cut as with the clearing cut.
Cut in case of fungal attack
If the dreaded monilia fungus occurs, which leads to a peak drought, the almond tree must be pruned immediately. The diseased shoots are cut away until the wood is healthy! If the disease continues to spread, it costs the tree a lot of strength. In the long run, he can’t hold out. The fungal disease can be recognized by dry, withered shoots. In addition, the tree emits rubbery, viscous secretions.
Wintering is usually not a problem. The almond trees cope well with frost and can withstand temperatures down to – 20 ° C. However, cold easterly winds are not ideal. The right choice of variety is a prerequisite for survival in the wild. Very few almond trees are hardy, you have to choose the right variety.
Almond trees that are not hardy in the bucket are best placed in light, at temperatures around 5 ° C. It is not tragic if the room is not so bright that the tree has no leaves in winter anyway. Freezing of the pot is usually not a problem, so the bucket can also overwinter in the garage or in the tool shed. However, the pot should not be completely outdoors, as the roots are very prone to failure.
Almond trees are grafted on a trunk, on a so-called base. This is the only way to maintain varietal purity. This is not for laypeople. The best thing to do is to buy a real almond tree from the nursery.
However, you can pull an almond bush from a core.
- Open the almond shell carefully! Water must be able to penetrate!
- Put the almond in potting soil, about 1 to 1.5 cm deep.
- The earth can be mixed with sand and expanded clay to make it permeable.
- Moisten the soil well, preferably with rainwater.
- Put in a light place at temperatures above 20 ° C.
- It can take a long time for a seedling to show up.
Diseases and pests
Almond trees often suffer from so-called peak drought, also known as molinia. This is a fungal disease that can be dangerous for trees. The infestation shows up shortly after flowering. The new shoots wither, become dry and mummified. A rubber-like mass emerges where the healthy wood merges with the diseased wood. This, in turn, is a repulsion reaction of the tree.
- Infested shoots must be cut back into the healthy wood!
- Since fungal spores overwinter in the soil, a renewed infestation must be expected in the following spring.
- Fungal spores will germinate, especially in cool, damp weather.
- It looks better for the almond tree in higher temperatures and dry weather.
- In addition, the frizz disease occurs every now and then.
- When it comes to animal pests, only aphids are actually of interest.
- No pesticides are permitted for home and allotment gardens for both the curl disease and peak drought. Even copper solutions are banned almost everywhere. Prevention is therefore best, i.e. perfect care, the right location and a good substrate.
Almond trees look absolutely great, especially when they are in bloom. The rest of the year they convince with their beautiful shape. Maintaining it is not difficult if you stick to a few things. Unfortunately, almond trees are often attacked by fungi, which can cause serious diseases. Since there are no pesticides to help yourself with, prevention is what counts. It is important to choose a suitable variety for the Central European location, to give the tree a good place in the garden, to cut it regularly and to take care of it well. Healthy trees are rarely affected by disease.