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What Does a Pistachio Tree Look Like

What Does A Pistachio Tree Look Like

You might be wondering what does a Pistachio Tree look like.  Pistachios trees are slow-growing trees and they can grow up to 6 – 10 meters (20 – 32 feet). They grow in a bushy way with a thick umbrella-shaped canopy and they have a large taproot.

Pistachios are biennial- bearing, therefore their harvest is heavier in alternate years. They can live up to 300 years and take a good 7 to 10 years to start producing fruits.

What Does a Pistachio Tree Look Like?

Pistachios (Pistacia vera) are members of the cashew family which are believed to have originated from Central Asia and the Middle East.

Generally, when we describe what a pistachio tree looks like, the color of the trunk and the branches of the Pistachio tree is gray. Pistachio tree grows in a smooth pale-gray bark which darkens and cracks as they mature over the years.


The pistachio tree is dioecious, meaning they can have male flowers alone or female flowers alone. The trees of pistachios give rise to seeds that are widely eaten as food.

Male and Female Pistachio Trees

  • Pistachio Male Tree

Normally, it is quite easy to recognize a male Pistachio tree. The male Pistachios are usually taller and robust compared to the female trees.

Just one male tree can pollinate 7 – 8 female trees.

  • Pistachio Female Tree

When we talk about what the female Pistachio tree looks like; The female trees of the Pistachio are not as tall as the male Pistachio. They have no petals, therefore they are known as apetalous. The female trees are ones that produce the fruit (nut).

The Pistachio Trees

Leaves of a Pistachio Tree

  • Compound Leaves: The leaves of the Pistachio tree are compound. The compound leaves are rounded in 3 to 5 deep-green leaflets. They align opposite each other along the central stem.
  • Size of Leaflet: The size of each of the leaflets is about 2 to 4 inches long. At the bottom of the leaf of Pistachio, you find a bud which usually becomes a cluster of flowers.

Leaves of a Pistachio Tree

Flower of Pistachio Tree

The male and female flowers are called male pistachios and female pistachios respectively. The male and female Pistachio trees blossom in clusters. Each cluster has 13 branches. Each of the clusters gives rise to 5 to 19 small flowers with a greenish-brown color.

Fruit of a Pistachio Tree

  • Female Producing Fruits: The only Pistachios tree that produces fruit is the female trees. Pistachios fruits are botanically called drupes.
  • Weight of the Fruits: The fruits of the Pistachio tree dangle in a heavy cluster that looks like a grape. During their heavy harvest, the mass of the fruit can constrain the branches and push them towards the ground direction.

Pistachio Nut

  • Pistachio nuts: The Pistachio nuts are quite colorful especially the thin hull which isolates the kernel and shell.
  • Kernel: When the kernel starts to ripen, the shell begins to open up. The hull goes dark and turns from yellow color to the distinctive green color.

Pistachio Nut

During the period of harvest, the mature nut will look like a halved open mussel with a rosy red hull.

So here are some few points for you to know how a Pistachio tree looks like:

  • The male Pistachio trees are taller and robust compared to the female trees
  • Female Pistachios are apetalous i.e. they have no petals
  • The leaves of the Pistachio tree are compound leaves
  • The fruits of the Pistachio drops in heavy clusters that look like grape
  • Pistachios nuts are colorful