Marcona almond: discover the reason for its fame

The almond tree is experiencing amazing growth throughout the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal), especially given the increased yields of many new varieties, hedgerow cultivation and the substitution of less valuable or more problematic crops.

Against all these new options, there is a variety of historic almond trees, known as marcona almondwhich is still present on a large number of hectares, in particular because of the fantastic organoleptic qualities of its fruitssuperior to many other varieties.

And all this despite the fact that the Marcona variety offers more than considerable disadvantages compared to newer varieties on the market. The Marcona almond tree also faces future problems such as high susceptibility to new pests and diseases in almond cultivation, low drought tolerance and self-incompatibility.

Perhaps this last point is the one that most hinders its use. On the other hand, the Marcona almond is the one that more is listed on the market for its organoleptic qualities.

If you want to eat a good almond as an appetizer, the Marcona almond variety is the one that makes the difference.

read more: Comparison of the Guara almond tree with other varieties.


Characteristics of the Marcona almond

Association with the Blanquerna variety

In order to overcome the problem of pollination of Marcona, there is currently the BLANQUERNA variety, mentioned in this article, which, controlled at the level of flowering, is able to pollinate Marcona quite successfully.

Location: grown throughout the Iberian Peninsula and even in California (USA). However, the province of Alicante is the one that accumulates the largest area of ​​the Marcona almond variety.

Shaft Features: Medium vigor with abundant branching. Therefore, it is quite demanding in terms of pruning work.

Flowering period: In southern Spain, Marcona flowering occurs in the month of February, being delayed up to a month in colder areas. Special care should be taken in very cold areas as freshly tied flowers or fruit may freeze.

Pollination: the Marcona almond tree is self-incompatible (requires cross-pollination). For this reason, to improve its production, it is cultivated with pollinating varieties such as ‘Doble Fina’, ‘Blanquerna’, ‘Carreró’, etc. Traditionally this has been done with Desmayo Largueta although results with previous varieties offer better results.

Some technical data on the Marcona almond tree variety:

Production Average production, but lower than new self-fertile varieties
Development Medium vigor, upright habit.
Entry into production Early
Ripening time Half
Fruit quality Very high, with yields between 26-28% and no double kernels
type of fruit Round-globose grain and hard shell.
resistors Sensitivity to tan spot / Very low tolerance to Fusicoccum
drought tolerance Sensitive
cold weather 500 hours of cold
Genotype S T11S12

Information collected from various academic sources and research centers (IVIA).

The harvest of the Marcona almond is a little more complicated than other varieties, since it requires a fixed date in time and cannot be delayed, because fruits easily fall to the ground.

Main disadvantages of the Marcona variety

One of the great disadvantages of the Marcona almond tree is its pollinationsince, being a self-sterile variety, it requires the introduction of pollinating varieties that begin to flower at the same time.

This makes missing a lot of unpollinated flowers, as we will see below, by subtracting the energy from the harvest. It may be that the fact that the production is lower compared to other varieties makes the quality of the kernel indisputable.

However, for modern super-intensive almond farms, the use of non-autogamous varieties is a real headache, which is why this variety is in continuous decline in terms of the number of hectares cultivated.

excessive flowering

The big problem Marcona faces is over-flowering which does not subsequently translate into production, and as a result, pea-sized fruits appear which do not scale and eventually drop from the l ‘tree. This happens because there has been pollination, but not fertilization.

More information on growing almond trees

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