How can I tell if the almonds on my tree are safe to eat?

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Offline graham.d

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I know the obvious answer but I would like to know if there is a safe way to tell.

The almond tree is quite prolific though squirrels take most of the crop. It is probably 50 to 60 years old and is in my garden in Kent (UK). It looks as though it has been grafted on to another root stock.

There are several smaller self seeded almonds nearby (thanks to the forgetful squirrels I think). Would these produce flowers and nuts too if left to grow and would these nuts be OK to eat?

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Offline Make it Lady

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How can I tell if the almonds on my tree are safe to eat?
« Reply #1 on: 30/08/2008 21:05:42 »
Weaker less native or slow growing trees are often grafted onto stronger native stock. I'm sure given TLC your squirrel propergated Almonds will flower and nut. These nuts will be safe to eat. You may find that it takes quite a few years for this to happen. The trees themselves may be weaker than your grafted one. Remember, in gardening patience is definitely a virtue.
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

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Offline rosalind dna

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How can I tell if the almonds on my tree are safe to eat?
« Reply #2 on: 30/08/2008 22:07:18 »
What about pollenation of the almond blossom by the bees, butterflies and other insects.

I can't remember exactly but do all trees need a male and female to propegate. oops if I've got it wrong.
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Offline graham.d

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How can I tell if the almonds on my tree are safe to eat?
« Reply #3 on: 31/08/2008 10:05:42 »
Thankyou for your comments. I was mainly concerned about almonds in particular because some varieties (bitter almonds I think) can have large quantitities of a chemical that gets converted to cyanide if eaten. I imagine that, from the name, I could taste if these were bitter or sweet, but I am not absolutely sure so I am nervous about relying on that without advice.

The old tree had lots of flowers and, subsequently, nuts. Doesn't that mean it is getting adequately pollenated? I don't like to watch:-) Actually, I am rather ignorant about the sex lives of plants. But as this tree has made nuts and some of the nuts have turned into trees I am guessing that the old tree must have been pollenated. I suppose that this must mean there are other almond trees in the vicinity although I seem to remember some plants can propagate this way all on their own.