Pruning avocado trees

Pruning avocado trees

I call this tree the Japanese Fuerte. I’d seen many pruned avocado trees, I’d pruned many avocado trees, and I’d read much about others’ pruning of avocado trees, but I’d never encountered an old tree that had been so consistently and artfully molded to a shape and...
Growing avocados in Southern California

Growing avocados in Southern California

Avocados are California. They are our heritage fruit. My great great grandfather grew a huge seedling avocado tree at his house near Los Angeles. When my mother was a child, she climbed in her neighbor’s Fuerte avocado tree. I have planted avocado trees over the...
My favorite way to eat a Reed avocado

My favorite way to eat a Reed avocado

There are tiny cults surrounding a few types of avocados here in Southern California, home of the now-worldwide avocado industry. Fuerte Some people remain forever fans of the original commercial avocado variety, Fuerte. It has a cool (or should I say, strong) story...

My boy and his placenta tree turn three

Kids grow fast, as do avocado trees — especially when planted over a power-packed placenta. Oddly, prior to looking through the retrospective below, I had felt rushed for both of them to hit some developmental marks even faster. As of today, Cass can legibly...
How long until an avocado tree fruits?

How long until an avocado tree fruits?

I just planted the avocado tree in the photo above, on February 10, 2017. It’s a Hass from a five-gallon container. How long can I expect to wait for an avocado tree like this to bear fruit? Short answer: three to four years. I get such an expectation from the...
When to pick avocados

When to pick avocados

My grandpa once asked me when to start picking fruit from his Hass avocado tree. I said February. But it’s true that I’ve been picking one every now and then from my Hass tree since November. They’ve tasted acceptable, but I know that from February...

Best resource for growing avocados

While there isn’t a great single resource for growing avocados at home, the best of what’s available is a handbook edited by Gary Bender, former farm advisor in San Diego County. He taught my master gardener class on avocados, and he really knows his...