The premier variety in California. It blooms approximately the 3rd week in February; harvests at the end of August. Kernel is medium-large size with excellent quality and flavor, and flat which is in high demand by the trade. It has become the basis of the almond industry. Shell is paper thin, often poorly sealed. Tree is large and harvest easily.
Blooms 2 days after Nonpareil; harvests 28 days after Nonpareil, somewhat late. Kernel is large size and elongated with a high percentage of doubles. Shell is soft and well sealed. It is a heavy and precocious producer. Tree is small to medium size and somewhat sprawling.
Blooms with Nonpareil; harvests about 2 weeks after Nonpareil. It is a good pollinizer for Nonpareil, with heavy, early production, but its susceptibility to bud failure is a serious concern. Kernel is medium size and elongated; well-sealed, soft shell. Tree is medium size but more upright than Nonpareil.
Blooms slightly ahead of Nonpareil; harvests 14 days after Nonpareil, excellent pollinizer or Nonpareil. Tree has an upright and vertical growth habit. Medium hard shell. Well sealed nuts.
Blooms 5 days after Nonpareil; harvests 2 weeks after Nonpareil. Heavy producer with the highest yield of all varieties over the years in the regional variety trials. Kernel is medium-small with a semi-hard shell and is well sealed. Tree is vigorous and spreading.
Blooms 5 days after Nonpareil; harvests 26 days after Nonpareil. A productive variety and does well on Marianna plum rootstock. It has a medium-small kernel and a hard shell with a good seal. Tree is medium size and upright. A good producer with potential for high yields.
Independence® Almond (Alm-21 cv.)
Grown by Sierra Gold Nurseries under annual sub-license agreements from Dave Wilson Nursery.
The most popular self-fertile almond variety planted in California. Blooms with Nonpareil, harvest 1-2 days before Nonpareil. Precocious, good producer. Somewhat low-vigor, compact tree best in hybrid rootstocks. Fewer or no bees.
Kester (UC Case # 2014-080)
It is a University of California, Davis introduction resulting from a cross between Tardy-Nonpareil (a late-flowering mutation of Nonpareil) and Arbuckle. Blooms approximately 4 days after Nonpareil and is less vulnerable to frost damage. Kester kernels are similar to Nonpareil but with well-sealed, worm-resistant shells. Produces low frequencies of double kernels and twin embryos. Harvest is 4 to 7 days after Nonpareil. Trees are upright to spreading and moderately vigorous, being about 90% of Nonpareil size at maturity.
Blooms with Nonpareil or 1 to 2 days after. It is one of the latest harvest varieties; 40 days after Nonpareil, but also among the most productive pollinizers for Nonpareil. Kernel is medium-small, ovate with a soft shell. Medium size tree is upright and somewhat spreading.
Winters (USPP# 13286)
A recent U.C. release (formerly UC-13-1). Blooms with Nonpareil and harvests two weeks after Nonpareil. Winters has shown high yields in regional variety trials with high quality kernels. Disease susceptibility is of concern.
Blooms with Nonpareil; harvests 4 to 7 days after Nonpareil. The bloom overlaps the Nonpareil bloom almost perfectly. Like Sonora, it tends to alternate bloom. Kernel is medium-small, plump and has a paper-thin shell. It has a high number of double kernels. Tree is medium size, vigorous, upright and spreading.
Sweetheart (USPP# 19436)
New release from the University of California. Blooms 1-3 days before Nonpareil; harvests two weeks after Nonpareil. It has a unique medium-sized heart-shaped kernel with very high oil quality. Cross-compatible with all California varieties. The tree is upright, spreading and vigorous.
Blooms 5 days before Nonpareil; harvests 14 days after Nonpareil. Early bloom is susceptible to frost. The kernel is large. Shell is soft and well sealed. Tree has a spreading, slightly willow-like growth habit. It is used primarily for pollination.
Blooms 5 days before Nonpareil; harvests 17 days after Nonpareil. Early bloom is susceptible to frost. It has a medium size kernel. Considered the best for in-shell markets due to attractive, light colored, hard shell. Tree is medium size with moderate, upright growth.
Blooms 3 to 5 days before Nonpareil; harvests 7 days after Nonpareil. It has good frost resistance. Kernel is medium-large, elongated, light colored in a paper thin shell. It is often poorly sealed. Tree is medium size with a slight spreading growth habit. It tends to alternate bloom.
Blooms 6 days after Nonpareil; harvests 28 days after Nonpareil. The kernel is medium-small and plump. It is very well sealed, has a hard shell and low worm damage. Tree is large, upright and easy to train.
Prolonged bloom coincides with Carmel and harvests approximately 10 days after Nonpareil. A consistent heavy producer. The Wood Colony tree is smaller than the Carmel, but has similar scaffold structure. Due to its compact size the tree is suitable for close planting.
Blooms 7 days before Nonpareil; harvests 7 days after Nonpareil. Native to Spain, Marcona almonds are known for being softer and sweeter than the California variety. Hard shell. Kernel is short and round. Good compatibility with Sonora.
BLOOM & HARVEST CHART