Saudi Aramco World: November/December 2013 - page 8

6
Saudi Aramco World
CH I CO
SACRAMENTO
C ENT RAL
VAL L E Y
0
500mi
0
800km
KERMAN
T EHRAN
0
0
500mi
800km
Chico near the town of Winters, California. At that time, the
original Kerman tree would have been some 50 years old. That
would make it too large to move, and thus I was guessing that
the original tree, if it were still alive, was still in Chico.
During an earlier visit to Wolfskill, John Preece, the supervi-
sory research leader and horticulturist, showed me the entire
us
pistachio collection of approximately 750 trees. These include
10 distinct species and many hybrids from the Middle East,
Greece, China, Italy, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Pakistan and
Tunisia, as well as several other countries. Some of these pista-
chio species were not used for nuts at all, but rather for the tur-
pentine or mastic that could be obtained from them, and others
are suited to urban beautification—especially the landscaping
tree
Pistacia chinensis
, with its spectacular, feathery red, yellow
and orange fall foliage.
I asked Preece about the Kerman in his collection. It was
clear from its size that it had been propagated from a cutting,
and that it was no older than 25 to 30 years. He agreed that
Pistachio trees are pollinated by wind, not insects. The male
flower of the Peters variety,
right,
turned out to best match the
timing of the female Kerman's flower,
far right.
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