The almond is a round tree that can reach 10m in height. Its branches are glabrous and its leaves are oblong and lanceolate, about 12cm long. The flowers are self-incompatible, although there are some self-fertile varieties. They are white or pale pink in color and usually grow either singly or in pairs. Its fruits have an oval or ellipsoid shape, 3 to 6cm in length and a dry and dehiscent flesh that, when dried, reveals the seed (almond).
In Spain some 660,000 hectares of almond are cultivated, with an approximate production of 340,000 tons per year. Spain is the second largest producer in the world, behind the United States, which produces approximately 2/3 of world production.
Prefers loose and permeable soils such as loam or sandy loam, since almond is sensitive to root asphyxia. Although it is a species that does not need high quality soils to produce properly, a good use of irrigation and nutrition can greatly increase its production.
Almond grows easily in regions with mild winters or also in continental climates. Of course, there is a risk of production loss due to the spring frosts.
Almond is a tree very resistant to droughts, and can grow in areas with rainfall of 300-400mm. But in this state of hydric stress, its production will be diminished and it will not be able to reach its maximum potential.
The traditional varieties of almond In Spain are Marcona and Desmayo Largueta. Recently, new varieties such as Vairo, Constantí and Marinada are being used, when yields exceed traditional varieties and are marking a new market in new farms.
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