gróptimum UCB1 un portainjerto de pistacho de rendimiento superior

UCB1: a superior performing pistachio rootstock.

In general, pistachio is a crop tolerant to drought and soil salinity. However, irrigation and other factors can increase the yield of the pistachio tree or the quality of the fruit. In addition, there are varieties that may be more drought tolerant, but less cold tolerant; or tolerant to certain diseases, but more susceptible to frost.

Rootstocks are used to improve the adaptation of the pistachio tree to different environments and to increase the yield of the crop. The rootstock is the lower part of the plant that provides the root system (set of roots) and a portion of the stem. It is the element into which the graft is inserted, which is the upper part that will flower and bear fruit.

Just as the graft is selected (commercial variety of pistachio, female or male), according to the quality of the fruit, productivity, market preference, etc., the rootstock must also be chosen, considering its vigour and resistance to diseases, climate and soil. After successful grafting, a tree is formed with the best of both parts.

In this post we present the pistachio rootstock UCB#1. A vigorous plant that allows to reach the desired profitability in the cultivation project.

Why is the UCB1 rootstock the most demanded in pistachio cultivation?

Agróptimum: rootstock solutions.

The UCB1 owes its name to the abbreviation ‘hybrid pistachio rootstock number #1 of the University of California Berkeley’. It is a plant created by the Department of Plant Pathology of this prestigious university, by hybridising (crossing) the previously selected varieties Pistacia Atlantica (female) and Pistacia Integerrima (male).

At present, UCB1 is the most advanced rootstock. It has a percentage of budding of more than 90%. It is the most widely used in the United States, the country with the highest pistachio production/ha planted. It is even the most popular in countries with a long tradition of pistachio production, such as Iran.

Main features of the UCB1

It is a hybrid plant designed to be used only as a rootstock, it will not produce fruit on its own.

It has superior characteristics that make it disease resistant and provide the highest efficiency in both irrigated and rainfed crops. Its main characteristics are:

  • It has exceptional vigour. Therefore the yield of UCB#1 is high.
  • It is highly resistant to diseases such as Verticillium Dahliae and Phytophthora.
  • It withstands low temperatures and frost.
  • It tolerates soil salinity.
  • Withstands drought.
  • It can be planted in all types of soil.
  • It is the only option for cold areas with a high incidence of verticillium (disease caused by the fungus Verticillium).
  • It is compatible with practically all pistachio varieties, such as Randy, Sirora, Larnaka, Kerman, C-Especial, Peter, etc.

Advantages of using UCB1 rootstocks

The multiple characteristics of UCB1 allow it to offer numerous benefits, both agronomic and economic. For example, this pistachio rootstock:

  • Accelerates production. Generally, trees grafted with UCB-1 start production between 3 and 4 years after planting. This early production allows an early return on investment.
  • It gives uniformity to the plantations. In other words, all the plants will have the same height and come into production in the same period.
  • It makes it easier to achieve high yields. The UCB-1 rootstock accelerates the start of production, so it is possible to obtain an average pistachio harvest in a shorter period of time.

Which propagation method is used for UCB1 rootstock?

Agróptimum: Qué método de propagación se utiliza para el portainjerto UCB1
Propagation methods for UCB1 rootstock.

UCB#1 rootstock can be cloned or propagated by seed:

In vitro cloning

It is an asexual propagation produced in the laboratory, in which UCB1 rootstock tissues are cultivated. For this purpose, a population of rootstocks with the desired characteristics is selected beforehand. This method enables the plants to multiply rapidly. This method is not advisable as the plant does not develop a tap root and is also susceptible to a multitude of diseases.


It is a sexual propagation using UCB 1 seed grown on certified trees that carry out the same protocols and controls as the University of California. Special hand-pollination procedures are used to produce the seed. In addition, the greenhouse has special protections to prevent unwanted hybridisation. Its root system is characterised by a pivoting root that allows it to go deeper into the soil, achieving better adaptation, anchorage and access to water and nutrient reserves.

Buying the grafted pistachio plant or the rootstock, which is better?

Agróptimum: plantas de pistacho injertadas en vivero
Agróptimum: nursery-grafted pistachio plants.

It is possible to purchase the pistachio plants grafted in a nursery, the process of which has been carried out by expert professionals. It is also possible to buy the UCB1 rootstock, move them, plant them and graft them in the field.

We always recommend acquiring the grafted pistachio plant, because it eliminates the risks associated with the grafting process. This represents peace of mind for the grower and offers the following benefits:

  • Maximum reliability of graft attachment. They are developed under strict controls and free of threats, so the attachment rate is high and graft healing is fast and safe.
  • Better graft affinity and lignification. Grafted pistachio plants develop in an optimal greenhouse environment, under humidity and temperature controls. Therefore, they are in ideal health.
  • Greater profitability. As it is a more developed plant, it will enter into production earlier than one grafted in the field, as well as being more homogeneous.
  • Economic return. Grafted pistachio plants are much more developed in the field, which translates into an earlier entry into production.

Certification is a guarantee that the rootstocks will develop and grow homogeneously and will be highly resistant to diseases, cold and soil salinity.

Agróptimum: Innovative agriculture for maximum crop profitability

We are the largest producer of pistachio plants in Europe. We have a continuous production of UCB#1 rootstocks and grafted pistachio plants all year round.

We use the UCB#1 seed developed by the University of California, to guarantee a quick entry into production and high yields for our customers’ crops.

At Agróptimum we are committed to working together with technology, experience, innovation and sustainable practices. Our nurseries have a modern and highly technological infrastructure of more than 75,000 m2, managed under an eco-friendly approach, to ensure exhaustive monitoring and control of temperature, nutrition, humidity and plant growth.

If you want to maximise the profitability of your investment, contact us. At Agróptimum we become your partner to guarantee the success of your agricultural project.