I live in Zone 7 in Northwest Texas. It's pretty dry here and the soil is mostly hard clay. I'm very interested in growing fruit bearing pistachio trees, but haven't been able to find any local nurseries that know anything about them (maybe that's a bad sign). Lots of people grow Chinese Pistachios, but that's not the same tree.
Anyway, according to my reading, (Aggie Horticulture Extension, Wikipedia, California Rare Fruit Growers, and others), the pistachio will do well in arid climates and is hardy up to USDA Zone 8a. So, it's in the zone, however, I'm more concerned about my soil.
The California Rare Fruit Growers website describes the soil requirements like this:
The trees do best on soils that are deep, friable and well drained but moisture retaining. It can, however, survive in poor, stony, calcareous, highly alkaline or slightly acid, or even saline soils. The root is deeply penetrating.
Wikipedia has this to say:
Pistachio is a desert plant, and is highly tolerant of saline soil. It has been reported to grow well when irrigated with water having 3,000–4,000 ppm of soluble salts. They need a sunny position and well-drained soil. Pistachio trees do poorly in conditions of high humidity, and are susceptible to root rot in winter if they get too much water and the soil is not sufficiently free draining.
Is there anyway I can succeed with this venture? What's the best way to go about it? Should I amend my soil to make it more sandy or loamy? If so, how deep and large of an area around each tree would be best?
Any other advice before I attempt this?