Avacados in Vancouver ???

Discussion in 'Fruit and Nut Trees' started by Gregn, Aug 6, 2005.

  1. Gregn

    Gregn Active Member 10 Years

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    Jim, Thanks for your advise!
    Dunc- the rope lights I have are not the L.E.D type. They are rated at 16w per Metre
    and each 'string' is 6 metres in length.They get very warm to the touch. The plan was/is to loop a section of the rope lights /in/on or near the top of the soil then create loops around the plant without any direct contact with the tree then cover the entire area in a mini cold frame set up & covered with clear poly and have the lights on a thremostat.
     
  2. Gregn

    Gregn Active Member 10 Years

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  3. Grow

    Grow Member

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    An update for those still interested...

    I did bring in two avocado trees, a Stewart and a Mexicola. The Mexicola was a very robust plant and started blooming at the end of December, male and female flowers, which I pollinated using a small brush. I did a control of a couple of stems, the flowers of which, I did not brush. Fruit has set on all the stems including those I didn't brush, although those have set fewer fruit. The plant is still flowering, and the most advanced fruit is about one centimeter long and growing rapidly. I'm giving the plants about 16-17 hours of light each day using Philips compact flourescent daylight bulbs and misting once a day. The plants are in front of a southfacing patio window in a room that is kept cool (13-16 C). After flowering, the Mexicola is putting out a lot of vigorous growth.

    So, we will have avocado fruit later this year. However, I know that had I put these outside without some really serious protection, I would probably have just dead trees, because here in Gibsons, in early November before any preliminary onset of frosts, we suddenly had an outbreak of arctic air that went down to -7 C, and it stayed cold for several days. A really strange occurence for so early in the cold season. In many ways, this has been a very bad winter, even though atmospheric scientists point out that overall land and sea temperatures in our part of the world are an average of 1 C higher than normal. Global warming doesn't mean benign warmer... it means more extreme fluctuations. If I do put these trees outside, I will have to think about enclosures that can temporarily be put in place for sudden severe conditions.
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Grafted named selections of avocado trees will be clonal, have same mininum temperatures (except where a cultivar has come to consist of multiple clones, in which case possibly there will be some variation in hardiness). Unnamed, non-selected cordylines are seedlings and may perhaps vary in hardiness rather much even in the same batch. This has been observed in gums (Eucalyptus), with perhaps a 10F (or greater) range between related seedlings. The practical significance of this manifests when one dies because it got down to 15F and another does not.
     
  5. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Renowned Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    The two we had growing outdoors here at UBC are dead, I think.
     
  6. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    The Tree Register of the British Isles lists an Avocado 6m tall and 22cm diameter in 2006, at the Tresco Abbey Gardens, Scilly, England; latitude 49° 57' N (slightly further north than Vancouver).
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    And as mild as coastal California.
     
  8. Gregn

    Gregn Active Member 10 Years

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    I checked out the 2 avocado trees at UBC a couple of weeks after that late November
    freeze where temperatures hit briefly at -12c. These 2 young trees were not protected at all. They were in the ground on a sunny knoll in the food garden. The mexicola grande had completely defoliated and as of December 16 the Stuart had patially defoliated. It sounds from what daniel reports that neither have made it through the winter. Though
    I am eternally optimistic, I would wait another 2 months before writing the death certificate on these plants as I have read about avocados surviving after complete defoliation. I kept my 2 avocados in my unheated garage over the winter i will wait for the plants to gain some size before planting outside (in a cold frame to start with).This past winter is as harsh as it gets in these parts and many plants that "normally" survive here didnt make it. I had a couple of T. fortunei palm trees suffer extencive dammage too while others showed little ill effect. I am still amazed that the harsh temperatures we endured didnt kill the weeds in my garden!!!
     
  9. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    >This past winter is as harsh as it gets in these parts and many plants that "normally" survive here didnt make it<

    According to http://vancouver.weatherpage.ca/climate.html Vancouver had -17.8C in 1950 and 1968.

    Sunset Western Garden Book says avocado plants are hardy to -4 to -1C.
     
  10. Gregn

    Gregn Active Member 10 Years

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    Thanks Ron for the climate information. All time temperature lows 39 and 57 years ago are hardly norms for Vancouver. Could they happen again? sure. Vancouver was hit by a typhoon 45 years ago too, an anomoly that can happen. I think the Coast Mountains and Vancouver harbour were created by glaciers during the retreat of the ice age some time ago. The FACT IS our climate is changing, warming up faster than ever before. Our summers have been getting warmer & longer, our winters milder and shorter. The problem of the Mountain Pine beetle never existed until 10 years ago, now it doesn't get cold enough to keep the pesky beetles in check and it has destroyed much of BC's interior forests.

    The Mexicola Grande avocado has a hardiness of -7c and the Stuart Mexicola is rated at -10c.This is a mature tree which is dormant. There are other factors I am sure, like soil temperature, drainage and duration of the cold location and microclimate etc. Many varieties of avocado will not take any frost or freezing at all. The Mexican varieties are much more cold tolerant.
     
  11. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Record lows can occur again at any time, there is no set schedule dictating that they come at long intervals or in any other predictable way - including the onset of global warming, which is based on long-term averages and does not preclude additional cold winters.

    Future winters well above record lows will still be well below minimums for avocadoes.
     
  12. leapfrog

    leapfrog Active Member 10 Years

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    "Global Warming" is a misnomer. "Climate Change" is a much more accurate descriptor for the effect of man on the environment in the 20 and 21st centuries (or a natural effect if you believe those few who disclaim the effect of man and say it is a natural phenomenon, like the little ice age in the late middle ages*). While average temperatures are climbing, so is the incidence of extreme weather. Absolute record highs and lows are occuring more frequently, as are other extreme weather events (droughts, floods, hurricanes, etc.).

    In the PNW, the average and extreme highs are getting higher, the average lows higher, and the extreme lows are getting lower at all times of year (though not to the extent of other parts of the world). The winters are also getting wetter and windier, and the summers drier.

    * for more information on the little ice age, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Ice_Age
    There is a theory that the mid to late 20th century, the point of reference for most adults living today, was characterized by abnormally uneventful weather in comparison to the long range experience. "Climate change" is therefore at least partly simply a manifestation of the long term norm.
     
  13. almalik

    almalik Member

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    Hello Grow,

    I was wondering if you had any further updates on you avocado trees? I live in Gibsons as well, and was excited to hear that you are getting fruit from indorr tress, and was wondering where you got your trees from?
     
  14. Gregn

    Gregn Active Member 10 Years

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    I will be planting the Stewart mexicola up against my house this week.(I removed my peach tree...) I will protect it during the winter and see how it goes. This site has excellent drainage. The Stewart Mexicola is hardy to about - 10c and is native to the mountains in northern Mexico. My avocado (s) have not bloomed.
    Greg
     
  15. Grow

    Grow Member

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    Hi Almalik,

    I bought the trees from Cliftons, a nursury in California. The prices are not that unreasonable, but by the time you pay for inspections and shipping, it gets quite expensive. Thus, I'm still keeping them in pots and bringing them in for the winter for the time being. Greg N in North Vancouver is going to give it a go outside, so we'll see. With good protection, it should be allright. Whether it will flower and fruit is an open quesiton. (Read what Mr. Shep says earlier in this thread.)

    If you want, stop in for a visit, we live just up the hill from Carmen's place, if you know Gibsons Landing. Small place, we probably know each other.

    Grow
     
  16. coocoomike

    coocoomike Member

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    Hi, I have 2 avacado plants indoor for a few years, actually, maybe 6-7 years now. It remained small maybe due to the size of the pot. Now I am planning to grow it outdoor, get rid of the pot and plant right into the ground. Will it survive in Vancouver's weather?
    It has taken a lot of abuse from customers in my shop all these years. Once, one customer bended the branch just because it was "in his way" ... pissed me off!
    BTW, the other plant in between the 2 avacados, is a Shiso plant (Japanese basil). It is getting a little cramped in there :)

    Please advise!!
     

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  17. smivies

    smivies Active Member

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    I think the summary of the discussion is....no. The hardiest mexican varieties are said to tolerate -7ºC. The West Indian & Guatamalen varieties expire at warmer temperatures than that.
     
  18. coocoomike

    coocoomike Member

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    Thanks.
    But by any chances, just looking at the pics, would mine be the one of the ones which tolerate -7 ?
    I can take more pics ...
     
  19. JCardina

    JCardina Active Member

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    You guys *are* propagating more from cuttings right? As insurance? I'm going to attempt a meyer lemon outside with protection in the Comox area but I'm not letting it grow outside over winter until I have a number of other cuttings doing well because it was hard to get in the first place.
     
  20. JCardina

    JCardina Active Member

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    I'm guessing it's safe to put an avocado grown from supermarket seed outdoors in the summer in a hot sheltered spot with full sun?
     
  21. Gregn

    Gregn Active Member 10 Years

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    There are over 100 varieties of avocados...yet I have only seen the Haas variety in stores. Like anything else, growing a fruit tree from seed you never know what you are going to get whether it will ever bloom or produce fruit and if it does, it may or may not be anything like its parent. During the winter storm of November 2006, a Mexicola Grande was completely defoliated (I believe it later died) and The Stuart Mexicola partially defoliated at temperatures around - 12c. (I believe this too did not make it through a week of sub zero (c) temperatures in January 2007. These were planted at the UBC botanical Gardens in spring of of 2006 and were given NO protection at all. I planted my Stuart Mexicola about 1 foot away from my house in full sun (eastern exposure)

    JCardina - Meyer lemons will do well in Comox PROVIDING you offer protection and some supplementary warmth during the winter. I have many citrus growing outside with minimal protection from winter weather. I have bananas(Musa Basjoo), Meyer lemons, a Juanita tangerine, Nippon Orangequat , my avocado :) and a Changsha mandarin all lined up across the front of my house and planted in the ground....

    Greg
     
  22. coocoomike

    coocoomike Member

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    Whoa! Urban farmer, are you?
    Actually, I do not mind if it does not bare any fruit at all. I just want to make sure it can survive in the winter (west coast).

    Mike
     
  23. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I wonder if Avocado 'Holiday' could someday be available to us here in the coastal British Columbia market. Apparently a small tree to eventually 12' tall would be an easy candidate to winter protect.

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  24. coocoomike

    coocoomike Member

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    OK, I will look it up. I think I will go ahead and plant mine in the yard.
     
  25. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I have three potted Avocado from seed that have been outside in my poly coldframe for 3 years. They are about 6' or 7' tall each. No heat at all, and these defoliate and suffer a bit of tip burn each winter. Every spring the bounce back which has surpised me. I keep expecting them to die off and they will one day when it gets cold enough.

    Cheers, LPN.
     

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