PISTACHIO NUT GROWING IN TURKEY

N. Kaska
Turkey is one of the main pistachio nut producing country in the world. Wild trees of Pistacia species are spread in almost all parts of Anatolia. However, the majority of Pistacia trees are in the South Eastern part of the Country. Because the climate of this region is quite suitable for growth of Pistacia trees or shrubs. Eventually this region is the most important area for pistachio nut production although the annual precipitation is very low (200–400 mm), the soils are poor, stony, calcareous and summers are very hot and dry and the winters are rather cold. So in a way pistachio nut is grown in Turkey in marginal lands where no other fruit or even field crops can be grown economically unless some cultural measures such as irrigation, fertilization are taken.

Beside the South-East parts of the Country, trees or shrubs of the Pistacia such as P.terebinthus, P.atlantica, P.lentiscus are wide spread in the Mediterranean, Aegean coastal lines, in the transitional areas between the Mediterranean and Central Anatolia, in Marmara Sea region, in the transitional area between Central and Eastern Anatolia. Although in all of these places the wild trees are grown perfectly, the cultural varieties are hardly grown because of the lack of enough heat sum during the summer months to fill the kernels. However, in some places the pistachio nuts obtained from the top-worked Pistacia trees are being used for fresh nut consumption. In some districts where the summers are somewhat warmer and long the produced pistachio nut kernels are preferred because of their green color.

According to the Turkish statistics the production was the highest in 1991 as 64 000 tons and the lowest in 1980 as 7,500 tons. There are fluctuations in the production values of different years due to alternate bearing of pistachio nut cultivars. Of course in some years (1980 and 1988) the yield was lowered by adverse climatic conditions such as late spring frosts, hail storms, dry and hot winds from the southern deserts etc. Generally almost all the pistachio nut cultivars including Iranian, American cvs show alternate bearing but the severity of it is not as strong as in the Turkish, Syrian, Greece, Italian and Tunisian cvs. Most of the Iranian cvs and Turkish Siirt c.v. are the varieties with “relative” alternate bearing habit. In these cvs the yield is high in “on years” and about half in the “off years”. Therefore in Turkey, during the last decade new plantations of pistachio nut are being established by Siirt c.v.

In Turkey yield per tree is generally very low even if only the trees of fruit-bearing age are taken into consideration. In fact, the average yield is approximately 1.8 kg/tree in the "on years" and 1.35kg/tree in the "off year". Sanliurfa and Gaziantep are the two leading provinces in pistachio nut production. These are followed by K.Maras, Adiyaman and Siirt. However, the biggest orchard is in Ceylanpinar State Farm where the size of the orchard is 3.5 thousand ha. It is interesting to note that non of these orchards in Sanliurfa and Gaziantep are under irrigation.

Kaska, N. (1995). PISTACHIO NUT GROWING IN TURKEY. Acta Hortic. 419, 161-164
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1995.419.26
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1995.419.26

Acta Horticulturae