Avacado fruit

Discussion in 'Fruit and Nut Trees' started by Hisglory, Oct 26, 2007.

  1. Hisglory

    Hisglory Member

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    I've been reading several postings about avacado trees. I have planted probably 12 from seed. One tree I've had for about 4 years and overwinter it in our green house. I have others that are much smaller started 2 years ago. I've heard there have to be a male and female to produce fruit, but how do I tell what is a male tree/seed and what is a female? I'm tempted to leave the big one out of the greehouse this winter because it has gotten sooo big, but I'm afraid it may die if left outside. We are zone 8 but some say our area on the island is closer to 9?
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Note that it's avocado, not avacado - a common mistake. They don't come in male and female. They do need cross-pollination, with not just any pairing of two plants at random necessarily giving good results. With grafted, named cultivars of known compatibility you can match them up after you find out which ones consort with one another. With unnamed, unselected seedlings of unknown proclivities - such as yours - it is strictly a crap shoot. Anyway, first you have to get them to bloom, and then have a way for them to be pollinated. Should any of yours start flowering before they push the roof off setting them outside at flowering time - if it is a mild time of the year - might result in insects doing the job. Otherwise, you might have to transfer the pollen yourself.

    After typing above I consulted Sunset WESTERN GARDEN BOOK (2001 edition) and was reminded that these flower during the cold time of the year, so being able to set them out and get insect pollination is unlikely to happen.

    "Pollination is complex. In areas where avocados are common, crops are routinely heavy. Isolated trees may produce enough fruit for home consumption, but if crops are light, plant another variety nearby or graft a limb from another variety into the bearing tree. Avocado varieties have flowers categorized as either type A or type B, depending on the time of day they open and when pollen is released. For best production, combine a type A with a type B variety..."
     
  3. DoctorGamgee

    DoctorGamgee Member

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    We are in a zone 8/9 and have a single avocado tree in the back yard. Last year, it had about 50 small fruits all pea sized on it before the two strong storms came through and blew them all off. So I don't think you need worry about male/female compatibility. Ron is correct about types A&B mixing--it will work better if that is the case. However, unless you are planning to have them as a cash crop, plant them and you should be fine. You can cover them in winter when a solid freeze is planned. Here on the border of Mexico, we don't get much in that way, so I really can't advise. I will suggest that until they get really firmly established a couple of stakes to support them from strong winds in the area would not be out of place (speaking from my own experience) and can allow you to cover them easily with burlap bags when winter hits.

    Let us know what you decide.

    Dr.G
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Maybe you were going to get a crop, before the storm, and maybe not. Pea-sized is one thing, persisting and developing fully is another. Fruits of some other kinds of trees may also develop partially, despite lack of fertilization, only to abort later. Isolated chestnut trees even produce clusters of burrs that mature and open to reveal flat little empty nuts inside, year after year.

    Haven't heard of these growing outdoors yearround in South Carolina, winters probably too cold, plus summer conditions, pests present all have to permit it. Even in coastal California these are not without their problems.
     
  5. DoctorGamgee

    DoctorGamgee Member

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    Perhaps, Ron. However, the year before (the first year it was in the ground), we had six ripe ones which began as pea sized, and then matured nicely. But when you go out on a Thursday afternoon, and there are 60, then a storm with winds which started to pull your picket fence out of the ground goes through that night, and you wake up Friday morning with none ... I'm sticking with my prognosis. But I could be wrong.

    Dr.G
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Previous production would certainly suggest more is to be expected.
     
  7. Thean

    Thean Active Member 10 Years

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    Howdy Folks,
    Interesting. I don't know much but my dad in Malaysia had a single tree that fruited heavily every year. The nearest avocardo tree was more than three miles away.
    Peace
    Thean
     
  8. Hisglory

    Hisglory Member

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    Well, thanks so much. This has given me hope. I have so many that it can't hurt to try and leave the big one outside and see what happens. If it dies, it dies. But as far as South Carolina weather that varies tremendously depending on where in SC you live. We live on an island off the coast and weather's normally pretty nice. It does depend on the year, but covering once or twice is not out of the question for us. I do wonder what the humidity is like in Dr. G's area of Texas, and if that affects avocado like it does almonds?
     
  9. DoctorGamgee

    DoctorGamgee Member

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    We have had a rather wet summer with lots of rain, but this is unusual for us, as we are usually more a Dry Heat than humid. I too wonder if humidity affects them. Hmm...
     
  10. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Yes, as I posted above "Isolated trees may produce enough fruit for home consumption".

    Humidity not a problem, Persea americana native to Central America.
     
  11. Gordo

    Gordo Active Member 10 Years

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    Following is a link to some pretty good information on Avocados that may clear up some misconceptions. I remember a response on another forum by a commercial grower who indicated that the pollination factors (including appropriate A & B types) may not be as critical as is often stated, since a fairly mature tree will produce ample fruit on it's own when grown in favorable conditions.
    http://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/avocado.html
     
  12. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Key phrase "on its own".
     
  13. Gordo

    Gordo Active Member 10 Years

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    'And on that note, I move that we adjourn our seminar until next time, when we'll explore a few more holes in the logic surrounding our little friend "it"' -

    Evan Morris
     
  14. avocado

    avocado Member

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    Recently I planted a Fuerte type avocado. And If my neighbor has a Hass avocado, that doesn't help in 'production' of fruits?

    Would there be an increase in production if I get a (Hass) seed grown, then graft a limb off the 1st Fuerte type and plant the grafted Fuerte next to my 1st Fuerte - would this help in the 'production'?
     
  15. skeeterbug

    skeeterbug Active Member

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    I just grafted my 2 inground avocado grown from seed with 2 varieties I got from Dr. Manners. He said that both of these varieties have good cold tolerance--- "very cold hardy, has gone to 15 without losing leaves, and 10 without loss of major wood, in Gainesville. Fruit are small, green, and mediocre flavor. Tree is broad and spreading. Self-fruitful most years, as long as you get chilly weather during the bloom (and I'm assuming y'all do!) Type A for pollination."

    The other one is even more cold hardy----"I don't have a tree of this at the moment, but a friend does, so I may be able to get wood. The most cold-hardy of all, having survived 0 F in Dallas, with damage. Small, green fruit, of good to excellent quality. I don't know its pollination requirement or type, but I think I would grow it near other varieties, just in case. My friend had a good crop this year, growing next to her Brogdon."

    Skeet
     
  16. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    How much damage?
     
  17. skeeterbug

    skeeterbug Active Member

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    I don't know, maybe Dr. Manners does. The variety was Mrs. Holland.

    Skeet
     

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