Growing Brazil Nut Trees

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Brazil nuts are used in a variety of dishes around the world.
Brazil nuts are used in a variety of dishes around the world. (Image: brazil nuts image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com)

Brazil nut trees are exclusive to the Amazonian rain forests of South America. The process of growing a Brazil nut tree can require quite an investment of time and can take between 10 and 20 years to begin producing actual Brazil nuts. Brazil nut trees need to have a nearly perfect ecological setting in order to grow properly and produce the Brazil nuts which are highly sought after. In fact, an intricate balance is necessary between the tree, a species of bees, orchids and a certain type of rodent.

Things You'll Need

  • Undisturbed Amazonian rain forest area
  • Brazil tree fruit
  • Brazil nut tree seeds
  • Orchids
  • Orchid bees

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Growing a Brazil Nut Tree

Locate a large undisturbed portion of Amazonian rain forest along the Amazonian River basin in South America, as the trees grow to be quite thick and over 100 feet tall.

Brazil trees typically grow along the Amazon River.
Brazil trees typically grow along the Amazon River. (Image: phillipine river view - loboc river image by Paul O'Hearn from Fotolia.com)

Locate a Brazil tree fruit, which resembles a cantaloupe, and crack it open to gain access to its seedlings.

In nature, the large agouti rat is the only species able to crack a Brazil nut open with its teeth.
In nature, the large agouti rat is the only species able to crack a Brazil nut open with its teeth. (Image: mouse image by timur1970 from Fotolia.com)

Plant the Brazil nut tree seedlings. Monitor the growth of the trees over the coming years to ensure an undisturbed ecosystem.

The rain forest's fragile ecosystem must be preserved to ensure proper growth of the Brazil nut tree.
The rain forest's fragile ecosystem must be preserved to ensure proper growth of the Brazil nut tree. (Image: Field prepared for new planting image by Dragan Trifunovic from Fotolia.com)

Introduce orchids near the tree once it begins to grow in order to attract a special species of "orchid bees" to naturally pollinate the tree and stimulate growth of the tree, its fruit and nuts.

The United States imports nearly nine tons of Brazil nuts each  year.
The United States imports nearly nine tons of Brazil nuts each year. (Image: Brazil Nuts image by TMLP from Fotolia.com)

References

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