Looking to plant the common Hass variety of avocado in your yard? Looking for the less common Reed? Searching for where to buy a rarely grown avocado variety like Nabal, GEM, or Jan Boyce?
Let me try to connect you with the grower or seller of the avocado variety of your choice.
Where to buy common avocado varieties
Most retail nurseries throughout California don’t grow the avocado trees that they sell. Rather, they get their avocado trees from two wholesale growers, La Verne Nursery in Ventura County and Durling Nursery in San Diego County. Between these two, about a dozen avocado varieties are made available to hundreds of retail outlets: Bacon, Fuerte, Hass, Holiday, Jim Bacon, Lamb Hass, Little Cado (also known as Wertz, Wurtz, Hybrid Dwarf), Mexicola, Mexicola Grande, Stuart (also known as Stewart), Pinkerton, Reed, and Zutano.
So if you want to buy one of these varieties you have many choices in retail outlets. Here a few of the larger outlets that sell Durling and La Verne avocado trees and have multiple locations. Maybe you already know one of these near you. (Click on the name to find the nearest store.)
Also, in San Diego County, we have the independent Walter Andersen Nursery with two locations. One is down near Point Loma and the other is up in Poway. They usually have a good selection of avocado trees on hand, coming mostly from La Verne and Durling.
Another way of locating a retail outlet through which to buy a La Verne-grown avocado tree is through their website. Click here to go to La Verne’s store locator webpage if you don’t have one of the above mentioned stores near you. You’ll likely find a smaller, independent nursery near you who sells La Verne avocado trees.
By the way, if your local nursery doesn’t have one of the above avocado varieties in stock at any one time, they can almost certainly request it from the wholesale grower (Durling or La Verne) and get it for you within a couple months. Just ask.
Over the years, I have bought avocado trees from all of the outlets mentioned above, and I can vouch for their quality generally.
Maddock Nursery in Fallbrook is one final place that I’ll mention where you can find the most common varieties. The distinction of Maddock is that they grow their own trees. They have been doing so forever and they do it very well.
Where to buy uncommon avocado varieties
To find uncommon varieties of avocado trees for sale you must visit smaller, sometimes peculiar, places.
In the avocado epicenter of Fallbrook, you find Atkins Nursery. Established by Oliver Atkins, who long served as the chairman of the California Avocado Society’s Variety Committee, the nursery is now owned and run by Victor Gonzales, but propagating rare avocado varieties continues. They are truly one of a kind, offering varieties found at almost no other retail nursery, varieties such as Sharwil, Nabal, Gwen, Nimlioh, Queen, Ardith, and on and on.
Atkins doesn’t have a website, but they do have a Facebook page. The nursery’s address: 3129 Reche Rd, Fallbrook, CA 92028. Their phone number: (760) 728-1610.
Not far from Atkins (and Maddock) in Fallbrook is Subtropica Nurseries. This is an operation that supplies farmers with orders of thousands of trees but also sells to home gardeners, and here you can buy avocado varieties that aren’t widely available, such as GEM, SirPrize, Hellen, and Hass Carmen.
If you’d like to buy a tree from Subtropica, the manager, Eli Hofshi, asks that home gardeners contact him through the website (linked above), letting him know which variety you’re interested in so he can locate it and move it over to Eli’s Farm Stand across the street for payment and pick up.
One other place where you can buy rare avocado varieties only pops up once a year, in April (a good time to plant a new avocado tree). The great people of the California Rare Fruit Growers Orange County chapter have a booth at the Green Scene at the Fullerton Arboretum where they sell small avocado trees they have propagated themselves.
There you might be able to talk to the very person who grew the tree you want to buy. That tree may have been grafted by Julie Frink, for example, who probably knows as much about avocado varieties as anyone else in the world today. In 2002, Frink was given the Oliver Atkins award (yes, that Oliver Atkins) by the California Avocado Society for her work researching avocado varieties.
Varieties I’ve seen available at Green Scene and almost nowhere else include: John Herd, Daily 11, Kahaluu, Choquette, Jan Boyce, Esther, Linda, Shindler, and Edranol.
I hope this information connects you to someone who has grown the avocado tree that you want to plant in your yard. Once you have your tree, have a look at my posts about planting and watering new avocado trees.
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