60217Avocado trees, Persea americana, grown from seed need to be about five years old to produce fruit that can be considerably different from the fruit from which the seed was taken, although such fruit is almost always quite good. Some trees need to be twice as old to produce. Grafted trees from nurseries are specific varieties that can start to produce their specific fruit immediately.

Fruit production is notoriously variable. Some healthy trees may be unproductive for a few years, and then suddenly produce more fruit than the limbs can support. Trees that are very reliable and productive may sometimes be unproductive or significantly less productive for a season. It is nearly impossible to determine which environmental factors inhibited bloom and fruit development.

Mature trees can be more than forty feet tall, with awkward branch structure. The lush dark green leaves are about four to eight inches long. The tiny yellowish green flowers barely get noticed until they deteriorate and fall to the ground like corn meal. The dark green and pear shaped fruit is quite heavy. It develops on the tree, but then ripens after it falls or gets picked and brought inside.

8 thoughts on “Avocado

  1. They don’t grow in Switzerland – too cold, but many are the pits that grew for me in a pot indoors. The only thing they seemed to produce were strange insects now and again. The last invasion were blue centipedes and too many to be comfortable with. I have now given up, although it would be nice to have an avocado growing on my own tree.

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    1. I remember seeing avocados at the Country Boy Market near Pink. (It might be Harps Fresh Food now.) They were weirdly expensive. It would have been odd to pay so much for something that I so often discard in large volumes. Avocado trees do not survive hard frost, so can not survive there.

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      1. Avocados that are grown in Texas are more tolerant to frost so that they can be grown farther inland. I believe that avocados have been grown there for a long time, but these newer cultivars extend the growing region, and could do the same here.

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  2. Of course we can’t grow them in New England but fun to try indoors. We have three avocado pits held with toothpicks and just touching water. We hope to see some evidence of growth but nothing after two weeks. My husband bet me a quarter that they’ll never sprout. I’m determined.

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    1. They should have no problem sprouting. Most of the avocado trees I grew up with were grown by us kids. It was a common project for rainy days. The problems with the trees is that, 1) because they were not grafted with adult growth of known cultivars, they took many years to mature enough to develop fruit, 2) and during that time, they grew very tall (rather than broadly so that the ‘eventual’ fruit was within reach), and 3) we never knew what sort of fruit they would make until they actually made it. Most were something like the fruit from which the seed came from. A few were quite variable.

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