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I'm Greg. My goal is to help you grow food at home, with a focus on vegetables and fruits -- especially avocados -- in Southern California. I write a new "Yard Post" every Friday.
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Fuerte, Holiday, Reed, Hass, and Carmen have exploded with blooms.
Gwen, GEM, Sharwil, and Queen seem to be more typical in their blooming.
My four year old Pinkerton was covered in flowers and now shows at least six little avocados and I am hoping there are many more in that are not yet showing. Last year I did not have even one avocado. Cheers to the super bloom. (My 25 year old Satsuma is also loaded with blossoms and tiny fruit)
Hi Mary Jane,
Do you have any other avocado trees near your Pinkerton?
Our Fuerte trees went crazy this year! My husband and I have never seen such an amazing production of flowers on those trees. We anticipated that this would be an “on” year, since our last crop was on the skimpy side, but we never thought the trees would be so abundant. Of course, now the flowers are falling off, but if only a tiny percentage turn into fruit, we’ll be super popular with all our friends and family members, starting this December. 🙂
Pinkerton, Lamb Hass, and Sir Prize full of blooms. Fuerte 2nd year in a row which is the first time ever!
My Wurtz are also in a super bloom here in southern Oregon 🙂
Look forward to hearing how the pollination of that Wurtz is in your greenhouse.
My zutano has super bloom also first ever to my knowledge. Last year it produced 4 to 5 avocados at most, hopefully this will change.
Greg or anyone – Any leads on where to buy a healthy Reed tree in SoCal?
I was at Maddock Nursery in Fallbrook today and they had healthy Reed trees in 5 and 15 gallon sizes.
Thank you, Greg. I talked to them and will go there on Monday. Do you think a Reed needs a partner pollinator, like a Fuerte?
Reed produces well by itself everywhere I’ve seen.
Great. One last time bugging you: I’m in Sherman Oaks and will need some help prepping my small yard and planting my new trees. Do you happen to know anyone in LA or south San Fernando Valley who is experienced in this? I’m not up to the task on my own.
I’ve a superbloom of budding leaves on my mystery Lyon tree- with small amounts of flowers below them. The old Fuerte has a superbloom of flowers- but not too many new leaves are breaking near the top, with all those flowers.
On the north side of the fuerte there are both flowers and new leaves. But the north side bbs that are now emerging have withered dark tips- but the bbs themselves look nice and green. Is this from that side of the tree being too wet? I’m not seeing this on the other sides. Thanks!
The super bloom has on some of my very young trees wiped out most of the leaves. I see just a hint of new leaf growth, painting branches for sun burn protection and as the day get warmer maybe a little shade as well?
So far I haven’t painted all of my trees in that situation because there haven’t been any real heatwaves. It couldn’t hurt to paint or shade a little, but it hasn’t seemed necessary just yet. Keep an eye on the weather forecast though.
Lamb Hass (9 yrs), Reed (7 yrs), Fuerte (new) and even pitiful Sharwil (7 yrs) have abundant blooms in north Pasadena, Altadena adjacent.
Thanks for all you do, Greg.
Smaller fuerte and 4 yr old bacon had great bloom but no fruit; smaller fuerte had bloom with new growth and lots of baby avocados. Hass next to it has super bloom but too early to see fruit set. Hope for another 150 avocados we saw 2 yrs ago. In Rolling Hills Estates
Prolific blooming to the point of being profligate is the avocado way, even in a normal year. Is this especially extravagant bloom a 2023 “all hands” call to increase genetic diversity? Can any other “cultivar” match the spendthrift bloom-to-fruit ratio of the, frankly, still-wild avocado? What were the avocados thinking over the eons? Committing all that energy, to us apparently squandered, must have made sense.
This is thought provoking. Avocados are unlike any other fruit tree I know in their flower-to-fruitset ratio. For example, almost every apple and peach blossom becomes a fruit, but the typical avocado fruitset is only about one per thousand flowers.
When an avocado tree sets fruit on an atypically high proportion of its flowers, it is detrimental to the tree’s health. The old Lyon variety was known for setting so much fruit that it would injure itself. (Some newer varieties that might have Lyon in their ancestry can do this as well: Gwen and GEM.)
Avocados are more nutrient dense than apples or peaches, which may be why an avocado tree can’t manage to develop as much fruit as an apple or peach while sustaining its health.
Some avocado varieties seem to need a year off to recover from a year of making a lot of fruit. Lamb comes to mind, as does Nabal and Sir-Prize. Then there are the few remarkable varieties that are able to produce high levels of fruit more consistently, such as Reed.
Would it make sense to provide more feritlizer for the tree then? or possibly the root system can only provide so much nutrients. At louies nursery some pinkertons had blooms and no leaves others had plenty of leaves. but louies has a good number of avocado trees
Good question, Art. I don’t know the answer. I’ve never seen a study that shows that fertilizing during a heavy bloom gives better results.
One study that might be relevant was done by Carol Lovatt of UC Riverside, which showed that fertilizing with nitrogen (as ammonium nitrate) in April (during bloom) gave higher yields than never fertilizing at any time of the year. Then again, the study also showed that doing the nitrogen fertilizing in November (when there is no bloom) gave even higher yields than the April application.
It’s also important to note that in that study, never fertilizing gave higher yields than all other timings (January, February, and June). This is one of the many reasons that I don’t play the chemical game. Imagine spending money and time on chemical fertilization in those months only to have it wash through the soil profile into the groundwater below — and your trees yield worse than if you’d done nothing!
I’m not aware of similar studies on timing done with organic materials used for fertilization.
Here is the study: https://lovattresearch.ucr.edu/sites/default/files/2019-12/tech_lovatt_2001.pdf
My Pinkerton is clearly in an off year with only a few blooms. The Stewart seemed normal but the fuerte was definitely on the high side, not much fruit set, though. I suppose I’ll know in a month or so what set. I’m going to let the Pinkerton grow to its heart content this season as it’s a great avocado and when it does bloom it sets a lot of fruit.