All-in-One Dwarf Almond: This beautiful nut tree grows in hardiness zones 5 - 9. It requires 300 to 400 chill hours to regulate it's growth. Based on typical weather for the Central Valley, this tree is an early bloomer with a harvest between September and October. It is a soft shell with with sweet, flavorful kernels. It is self-fruitful, requiring hot summers to properly produce fruit (Great for the Central Valley!) It is winter and frost hardy. It is a semi-dwarf reaching approximately 15' tall.
The Western Schley Pecan: one of the most widely cultivated pecan trees in the west. Reaching heights of 60 to 100 feet at full maturity, it boasts a 20 to 30 foot tree canopy. The trees are self-fruiting, though the produce best with other pollinators. They are hardy in multiple zones (including the Central Valley) and can withstand the high temperatures of even desert climates. They aren't too fussy about soil quality and nutrition and require 250 chill ours to regulate growth. The nuts are long, slender, and sweet tasting, coming in at about 60 nuts per pound.
The Kerman pistachio is the most common pistachio in the Central Valley and should be planted from container only. The pistachio requires both a male and female tree to produce fruit, thus one Peters male pistachio is required for every 10 Kerman females. Due to the cultivation method, it is important not to disturb the rootball while planting. It is slow growing, taking 10+ years to reach maturity at 20 to 30 feet. The tree requires long, hot summers for best fruiting. Each tree can produce up to 50,000 nuts every 2 years. They are drought tolerant, requiring 800 chill ours.
Walnuts are a staple of the Central Valley. The Hartley (#1 in Dependability), the Chandler, Cooke's Giant, and the Pedro are excellent choices. Hartley, Chandler, and Cooke's Giant require 700 chill hours, while the Pedro requires less than half that time, though it is much smaller than the other two. Since the Chandler and Pedro are smaller than the Hartley and Cooke's, they are the go-to option for backyard and home planting. All the varieties produce flavorful, high quality nuts. They are drought tolerant and self-fruiting.