Department of Nut Trees

The Department of Nut Trees of the Institute of Plant Breeding and Genetic Resources (IPB&GR), is located 9 km south of Lamia, Greece, near Neo Krikello. The campus extends in an area of ​​30.77ha, of which about 25.3ha are cultivated. It was first been established in 1932, as a Public Farm of Vardates, then, in 1962, it was renamed to Agricultural Research Station of Vardates. Since 2014, it operates as a Department of Nut Trees of IPB&GR.

The scope of the department is to develop applied research in the field of plant production and in particular in the field of nut trees cultures: walnuts, pistachios, almonds, chestnuts, hazelnuts, and pecans.

Research focuses on scientific experimentation, as well as on publishing in scientific journals, managing research projects and participating in international and national conferences and workshops. In recent years, we have participated in several European and national programs (PRIMA, RESEARCH-CREATE-INNOVATE, etc.). We have successfully been funded for research on walnut by European programs (MOP, CAMAR, NOIXU.E).

The following research activities are developed at the department:


  • Evaluation of 32 of the best international cultivars
  • Evaluation of the walnut seedlings population of Greece, selection of 83 elite populations, planting, and evaluation in collections of the department
  • Creation of new cultivars with cross-breeding or seedlings selection of the most exquisite cultivars
  • A new mid-precocious lateral cultivar named ILIANA has already been created, which is clearly superior to var. Vina and more precocious to var. Gustine, Amigo, Chico, etc. This cultivar is still being studied
  • Creation of the mid-precocious lateral cultivar Lito
  • Creation of the mid-late lateral cultivar, Hartley
  • Evaluation of many candidate cultivar created by crossbreeding and selection
  • Experiments to improve the success rates of walnut grafting
  • Systematic studies are carried out on the effective protection of walnuts from walnut anthracnose (Marssonina juglandisGnomonia leptostyla) and walnut blight (Xanthomonas campestris pv. juglandis)
  • Study of walnut Cydia pomonella
  • Harvesting and post-harvest handling
  • Mechanical harvesting studies
  • Studies on mechanical peeling – washing of nuts
  • Studies on the moisture content of nuts during harvest and after the use of the dryer
  • Studies on the sorting of nuts
  • The result of the above studies was the construction of a peeling- washing-drying machine for nut fruits, by a Greek construction company
  • Study of mechanical breakage of nuts
  • Study of the qualitative characteristics of walnut kernel of many cultivars and selections and study of its chemical composition (proteins, carbohydrates, fatty acid composition, etc.)
  • Study of the current situation of walnut production and commerce


  • Evaluation of 20 female cultivars
  • Evaluation of 8 male cultivars
  • Evaluation of the integerrima and Tsikoudo rootstocks
  • Study of the pathogen Macrophoma
  • Study of the pistachio Eyrytoma plotnikovi
  • Study of pistachio flea
  • Study of the effect of foliar nutrient preparations on the weight and opening of the pistachio fruit shell
  • Study of the effect of cytokinins on bud fall
  • Study of mechanical harvesting (vibrator) of pistachio fruits
  • Study on mechanical peeling – washing of pistachio fruits
  • Study of qualitative characteristics of pistachio fruits and study of the chemical composition of pistachio kernel of many cultivars (proteins, carbohydrates, fatty acids profile, etc.)
  • Study of the current situation of pistachio production and commerce


Study of the native populations of chestnut trees, their production, and chestnut commerce

Other activities and services

The department organizes and participates with scientific announcements in international and national conferences, symposia, and workshops. We also publish research papers in prestigious international and Greek scientific journals and popular articles in the local, provincial, and national press. We prepare studies, submit proposals and we act as an advisor to the Ministry of Agriculture, whenever needed. We also provide information and guidance to stakeholders or individuals from all over the country on the necessary and effective crop care, use of appropriate species and cultivars per region and the effective post-harvest management of fruits.