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almond tree

Q:  Can we grow almonds here in Northeast Florida? 

A:  The quick answer is – not well.  A determined grower could probably grow just about anything but we really do not have the optimal conditions for the almond tree to produce abundantly. Almond trees, Prunus dulcis, prefer warm, dry summers and we have hot, humid summers. This tree produces its flowers in February or March.  If it experiences any frosts during the flowering time, the potential for fruit that year is lost. It has the several disease problems and insect issues similar to peach trees – especially borers.  In addition, it requires frequent fungal applications like many other fruit trees and it must be checked frequently for insect damage.  There are some people who plant almond trees simply because the flowers are so pretty while knowing it will probably never produce nuts.  Almonds are commonly grown in California and take about 180-240 days to harvest.  Pruning should be done from December through January.  Trees must be pollinated which is usually done by bees.  Normally, it is suggested planting three different varieties to get good cross pollination and increase production.