Depending upon variety, almonds are ready for harvest from early August to late. September. Harvest should begin when about 95 percent of the nuts have hulls that have split open to expose the in-shell almond inside.
Usually, walnuts are ready for harvest from early September to early November, depending on the climate. A sign of ripeness in black walnut's nuts is when the hulls turn from green to yellow and a thumb can dent the hulls.
Harvesting: Ripe nuts split. The growth cycle of pistachios takes seven years, in which a tree's yield is heavy one year and light the next. Pistachio trees in orchards can live for 40 years and produce high-quality nuts up to a ripe old age. The pistachio kernel itself usually develops on the tree in June.
Harvest apricots when they are plump and golden orange and begin to soften to the touch. Taste a sample apricot for sweetness and flavor before harvesting those that are ready. Apricots can be harvested several times per season.
By mid-August, the orchards are ready for harvest—a job that usually takes about 30 days. Prune plums are tree-ripened so growers determine harvest time by checking fruit firmness and sugar content with a tool called a light refractometer.
Peaches usually come to harvest from mid-to late summer. Peach fruit requires 3 to 5 months to reach harvest from the time flowers are pollinated. Peach trees have fruit producing lives of about 12 years.
How Almonds Grow
· The Budding
In the fall, flower parts begin to develop on the edges of the growing bud. By mid-December, pollen grains are present. The tiny bud remains dormant until early January when it grows rapidly.
· The Blossom
A good chill during November and December followed by a warmer January and February coaxes the first almond tree blossoms from their buds.. Bees pollinate alternating rows of almonds varieties. From February onward, it's pretty mild temperatures and minimal rain so blossoms can flourish and bees can do their job.
· The Fruit
After the petals drop and the trees have leafed out, you will see the“fruit” appear. The hull continues to harden and mature, and in July it begins to split open. Between mid-August and late October, the split widens, exposing the shell, which allows the kernel (nut) to dry. The whole nut and stem finally separate and, shortly before harvest, the hull opens completely.
From mid-August through October, mechanical tree "shakers" harvest the almonds by vigorously shaking them to the ground. The almonds then dry naturally for 8–10 days in the orchard before they are swept into rows and picked up by a machine.
Harvesting begins in late August, when the drying green hulls start to split (allowing the inshell walnuts to be removed), and continues until late November. First, the orchard floor is swept clean. Then, mechanical shakers vigorously shake each tree and thousands of walnuts fall to the ground. The walnuts are carefully swept into windrows to allow mechanical harvesters to pick them up for cleaning.
The outer green husk is removed by a huller and the nut is mechanically dehydrated (air-dried) to the optimum 8% moisture level. This prevents deterioration of the nut and protects its quality during storage.
Once the walnuts reach the 8% moisture level off they go to a packing plant where they are graded into two distinctive markets, inshell and shelled. After meeting all regulations they then decide how they want to pack them and sell them.
Pistachios grow in clusters on the tree and each cluster may have anywhere from thirty to fifty nuts. During the month of April, the winds help with pollination from the male trees bearing the pollen and the female trees bearing the nuts. During the months of June and July the pistachio kernel develops; the enlarged nut pushes on the surrounding soft shell to cause a natural split in the shell before the shell hardens. The outer hull which serves as a protective covering for the nut remains intact. As the nut ripens, the hull separates from the shell, and is easily removed when pinched; the hull often turns rosy in color when further ripened. Around late August to early September is typically the time to start harvest, lasting approximately six weeks.
Harvest usually starts between May and July, however you can tell by the touch and the smell to determine if they are ready or not.
Harvest apricots when they are plump and golden orange and begin to soften to the touch.Taste a sample apricot for sweetness and flavor before harvesting those that are ready. Apricots can be harvested several times per season.
In order to become more efficient and deliver consistent top-quality fruit, harvesting today is largely done by machines. A mechanical shaker grabs a tree’s main limb or its trunk and, in a matter of seconds, shakes the fruit onto a fabric catching frame spread underneath. From there, it’s a quick conveyor ride to bins destined for the dehydrator. which at this point we ship them off to a processor of the customers choice and they finish the dehydrating, packing and selling.
Harvest your peaches when they are fully ripe, meaning that there is no green left on the fruit. They should come off the tree with only a slight twist. The fruits found on the top and outside of the tree usually ripen first.