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Almond (Prunus dulcis [Mill.] D.A. Webb var. dulcis)
French: Amandier; Spanish: Almendro; Italian: Mandorlo; German: Mandelbaum

Crop data

Perennial. Harvested part: nuts
Transplanted in dormant season.
Flowers 3 - 4 years after transplanting.
Harvested 6 - 8 months after flowering.
Plant density (California, USA): 120-190 trees/ha.
Preferably grown on light to medium soils, pH 6-8.
Is adapted to a mediterranean climate; does best when irrigated, but is often grown on dry land.
USA (California) is the largest producer but it is also grown in Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Israel, and Bulgaria.

Plant analysis data

Plant analysis data - Macronutrients

Plant part Stage of growth Source

% of dry matter








Leaf Mid-season Brown et al., 1953

2.8 (OS)

0.10 (OS)

3.0 (OS)

0.46 (OS)

1.61 (OS)

0.61 (OS)

Leaf Mid-season Proebsting & Serr, 1966  

0.10 (OS)

1.0 (OS)

Leaf Mid-season Weinbaum & Tate, 1964

2.2 (CVY)

Leaf Mid-season Proebsting & tate, 1964          

0.23 (OS)

Os = Optimum supply - CVY = Critical value (yield)

Plant analysis data - Micronutrients

plant part Stage of growth Source

ppm dry matter






Leaf Mature basal leaves Epsteim & Lillehand, 1942

96 (OS)

Leaf Mature Hansen et al., 1962      

23 (CVD)
38 (OS)

Leaf Mature Kester et al., 1961    

2.6 (D)
3.9 (OS)

Leaf Mature Procopiou, 1978  

17 (OS)

Hull Mature Kester et al., 1961    

0.8 (D)
3.3 (OS)

Kernel Mature Kester et al., 1961    

1.6 (D)
12.1 (OS)

Hull Mature Kester et al., 1961    

1.4 (D)
2.7 (OS)

Kernel Mature Kester et al., 1961    

6.8 (D)
7.3 (OS)

D = deficiency - OS = Optimum supply - CVD = Critical Value (deficiency)

In California, Zn is a common problem.

Almonds are sensitive to excessive salts, especially of Na (leaf Na 0.30 % or more) and of Cl (leaf Cl 1.79 % or more).

In California, B toxicity (leaf B 87 ppm or more) and deficiency both present problems.

Present fertilizer practices

Almonds may be grown in cultivated or sod culture, so it may or may not be practicable to incorporate fertilizer into the soil. Fertilizer is usually given in a single dressing, sometimes in autumn, or, if in spring, then before bud-break. In general only N is applied annually, preferably as ammonium sulphate on alkaline soils or as ammonium nitrate on acid soils. P is preferably applied as triple superphosphate, and K as sulphate.

When supplying Zn as a foliar spray in mid-season, only ZnO should be used; ZnSO4 burns the foliage.

In USA the basal fertilizer is:

45-112 kg/ha N.

1.2 t K2O when problem occurs (California soils).

2 kg/ha B when problem occurs.

Zn deficiency is controlled by sprays of 19-29 g ZnSO4/l in the dormant period and by foliar sprays of 6 g ZnO/l applied in mid-season.

Further reading

BROWN, J.W.; WADLEIGH, C.H.; HAYWARD, H.E.: Foliar analysis of stone fruit and almond trees on saline substrates. Proc. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 61, 49-55; USA (1953)

HANSEN, C.J.; KESTER, D.E.; URIU, K.: Boron deficiency symptoms identified in amonds. Calif. Agr. 16(4), 6-7; USA (1962)

KESTER, D.E.; URIU, K.; ALDRICH, T.: Copper deficiency in almonds and its response to treatment. Proc. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 77, 286-294; USA (1961)

PROEBSTING, E.L.; SERR, E.F.: Edible nuts. In: CHILDERS, N.F. (ed.), Nutrition of fruit crops. Horticultural Publications, New Brunswick, NJ; USA (1966)

WEIMBAUM, S.A. et al.: Nitrogen fertilization increases yield without enhancing blossom receptivity in almond. HortScience 15, 78-79, USA (1980)

Author : D. Sparks, College of Agriculture, The University of Georgia, Athens, USA

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