Cracking almonds

Asked September 23, 2017, 4:27 PM EDT

We have two almond trees that are about 10 years old. We have never been able to crack open the hard shell to get the nut out after harvesting them. We wait until the husk has split to harvest them or when they fall off the tree voluntarily. We have dried them in a food dehydrator but still can't crack them. What are we doing wrong.

Lane County Oregon almonds

3 Responses

Thanks for your question about almonds. I'm not sure from your question what either your harvesting or your cracking habits are. And Lane County is a large one, whose USDA zones range from 5a (-20 degrees F to -15 degrees F) to 9a (20 degrees F to 25 degrees F) average lowest winter temperatures. I observe that only because almond trees need a lot of heat with low humidity to produce ripened nuts, and prefer USDA zones 5b (warmer than 5a) to 8 (cooler than 9a). I don't know which zone you're in. But my suspicion is that they just haven't ripened, so opening them is a challenge. I can find no scientific articles on this issue, but perhaps you can get some information from this article. Perhaps if you tried a hammer, and then just see whether the nuts are ripe. Good luck!

Thank you so much for your reply. I guess I wasn',t very explicit in my question. I think, looking up zones for my county in Oregon, we are probably an 8, even though we are 700 ft. higher than Eugene, Oregon.
My husband is now in his den cracking last years almonds with vice-grips and it seems to work after all this time. And, I might add, they are fabulous. Taste just like almond extract smells.
I have been questioning this for more than 3 years and have never got an answer at all. So thank you so much for replying. We miss your physical presence here! :)

Well, you're welcome! You can always drop into the Lane County Extension office if you need a 'human touch!'