(Last updated June 13, 2021)
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
La Verne Nursery and Durling Nursery
Most retail nurseries throughout California don’t grow the avocado trees that they sell. Rather, they get their avocado trees from wholesale growers, especially 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, Mexicola, Mexicola Grande, Pinkerton, Reed, Stewart (also sometimes spelled Stuart), Wurtz (also sometimes called Wertz, Little Cado, and Hybrid Dwarf), and Zutano.
(Click on any of the blue names to see my profile of that variety, which might help you decide if it’s the right variety for your yard. Or see my page of all avocado variety profiles here.)
(La Verne has recently started growing Sharwil and Jan Boyce avocado trees, but they have yet to show up in retail nurseries consistently.)
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 or 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.)
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.
For example, 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.
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 or elsewhere) and get it for you within a couple months — sometimes longer. 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, they do it very well, and their prices are very reasonable. Also, just recently, Maddock has started offering trees of the GEM variety.
Where to buy uncommon avocado varieties
To find uncommon varieties of avocado trees for sale you must visit smaller, sometimes peculiar, places.
Also 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 offer varieties found at almost no other retail nursery, varieties such as Queen, Nabal, Gwen, Nimlioh, Ardith, Sharwil, GEM, and others.
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. I would recommend calling before you go because their inventory of avocado varieties is always changing.
Not far from Atkins 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, Gwen, Pinkerton, Sir-Prize, Sharwil, Edranol, Ettinger, Hellen, Queen, Puebla, Julia, Mayo / Covocado, and Carmen, in addition to Hass, Lamb, Reed, and Fuerte.
From Subtropica, you can also buy avocado trees on clonal rootstocks. These are specially propagated rootstocks that have demonstrated tolerance to problems that commonly affect avocados, such as salinity and root rot.
(See my post, “Avocado rootstocks: What do they matter?”)
Conveniently, Subtropica carries avocado trees in small 3.5-gallon plastic sleeves, which are very easy to plant, and they also carry some larger trees in 15-gallon containers.
If you’d like to buy a tree from Subtropica, the trees are sold across the street from the nursery at Eli’s Farmstand. If you don’t see the variety that you’re looking for in the racks, just ask if there are more over at the nursery. And while you’re waiting, you can buy some of the excellent vegetables and fruits that Eli and his family grow. Sometimes they offer rare avocado fruit for sale at the stand too.
Green Scene with CRFG of Orange County
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.
Varieties I’ve seen available at Green Scene and almost nowhere else include: Herd, Koala, Magoon, Daily 11, Kahalu’u, Choquette, Jan Boyce, Esther, Linda, and Shindler.
Buying avocado trees online
Four Winds Growers
If you live outside of Southern California or don’t have a good retail nursery nearby, consider buying an avocado tree online to be shipped to your front door. The only such vendor that I have bought trees from and that I can recommend is Four Winds Growers.
Four Winds is located in Watsonville, California, and they offer more than a dozen, excellent avocado varieties for sale through their website (linked above). They even carry some hard-to-find varieties such as Carmen, Sir-Prize, and Gwen.
One small note: Don’t be misled by the photos of avocado fruit on the Four Winds website, as — at the time of this update (June 2021) — some are not those of the variety name listed below them. For example, a photo of Hass fruit is shown above the Stewart variety name.
(Unsure of which avocado variety is best for you? See my post, “What’s the best kind of avocado to grow?”)
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