STATUS OF PISTACHIO NUT CULTIVATION IN SYRIA
Pistachio nut has been grown in Syria for centuries. There are some trees aging more than 500 years in Ain-El-Thainah near Damascus. Traditionally, Aleppo which is in the northern part of Syria, is the main pistachio growing area. Recently there is a rapid expansion around Hama and at the northern region near Swidaa.
In Syria several Pistacia species such as P.atlantica (in the East and South), P.palaestina and P.lentiscus (in the West) can be found. Seedlings of P.vera and P.atlantica are used as rootstocks. The nurseries of Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reforms produce mostly one year old pistachio seedlings and distribute them to the orchardists. Some private nurseries produce nursery plants of pistachio nut in commercial scale.
A study on the Syrian female and male types was conducted by Aleppo University, Faculty of Agriculture in collaboration with the Arab Center of Arid Zones and Dry Lands (ACSAD).
Maggs (1973) mentioned, that the main pistachio varieties in the world were taken and spread from Turkey, Iran and Syria. These varieties were obtained by seedling selection in the pistachio fields. The existent studies about pistachio varieties in Syria are rare. Therefore, the information concerning this subject depends mostly on the farmer experience.
In Syria Al-Husny (1972) has published some general details about the characteristics of Syrian female varieties. Also, Nahlawi et al. (1985) presented primary results of 5 varieties in a comparative study, namely Ashoury, Batoury, Oleimy, Bundouky and Ain El-Thainah under relatively dry environmental conditions in Houran (South of Syria).
In this paper the characteristics of these male and female trees will be discussed.