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Best Fruiting Avocado for Bay Area?

Best Fruiting Avocado for Bay Area?

I'm in San Mateo, CA.

I purchased a few Avocado trees last year and all are planted in the ground.

I have Bacon, Hass, Little Cado, and Pinkerton.

All are young and doing great. In little time they have grown pretty quickly. Most had flowers and had tiny fruit, but all fell (I guess this is normal due to their age).

Anyone here have good sucess with fruiting on any of these varieties?

During the winter, I plan on using water pipe insulation around the trunks and some of the branches. I also bought this product called "cloud cover" to help with the cold.

Any advice would be appreciatred on caring for these trees.

Mr. Burglecutt

P.S. I also planted a Granada and it is doing very well and is setting medium-large fruit after only 1 1/2 years.

The following thread was started by Mr. John Burglecutt on October 08, 2007 at 4:03 pm PST

Most Avocados need to have a base trunk size of at least 3 inches in diameter, but more likely 4 plus inches.

Along with this, a hight of around 10 feet higher and taller. Age, soil moisture and nutrients and climate all play into the situation.

You have to leave the leaves of the tree on the ground, and adding mulch greatly helps too, especially before the trees gets of size to easily supply it own needs.

Best to also use a good natural slow feeding Avocado/Citrus fertilizer, they have special needs and if your soil does not do it, your trees can be much slower in growth and may like mine, not produce a good bloom show and not hold fruit without it.

Others on Cloudforest may better know how cold you get in San Mateo, but you might or might not need all of the cold protection you are thinking about.

Hass would be the most cold sensitive one, only good down to around 29F, depending one how it is at that low. Bacon is good for much one, mine here this winter took 21F, with 14 hours of below 32F prior to the low in January. Most leaves not bother, but they did take a hit and once it warmed some, all turned dead brown in a few weeks and dropped off, not visible damage to any of the wood.

My tree has a 6 inch base trunk size, your smaller trees will need some protection while small, if it gets really cold, the Hass if it gets below 30 while small.


The above followup was added by DavidLJ48, Waterford CA, zone9 on October 09, 2007 at 1:54 am PST.

Avocado ID

Thanks for the tips!

I generally throw away any leaves that fall to the ground, but now I will make sure I keep them as part of the mulch.

I know it doesn't get too cold here, but I want to take all steps to keep these trees stress free as this winter.

As a last resort, I keep all my recipt from OSH, because they have a lifetime guarantee on their plants and trees (unlike Home Depot and nurserys)

Also, do you know how to identify young Avocado trees by the sight? There is one at a local nursery with no tags. I asked the employees which type it was and they said they have no idea.


The above followup was added by Mr. John Burglecutt on October 09, 2007 at 5:34 pm PST.

ID-ing a avocado would be hard

there are some like Stewart and another or two which are a bit different then the average ones. Stewart sprawls droops, is spreading and the leaves are darker green and the edges are curled up some, if I am not mistaken.

Holiday is more hedging, even more spreading then Stewart, but has a more Hass type fruit.

Mexican varieties and some of the Mexican crosses have much smaller and thicker leaves, Guatemalan with some Mexican cross showing has much larger leaves.

They are like bananas, when small, good luck in figuring out which is which if they are not marked, you wait until they fruit.


The above followup was added by DavidLJ48, Waterford CA, zone9 on October 09, 2007 at 6:19 pm PST.

ID-ing by leaf scent

I found this web site that says the Mexican varieties have Anise scented leaves.

I might not be able to find out the exact Avocado tree it is, but I will at least be able to know which group the tree falls under.

Avocado Groups

Bloom/Harvest Season
Fruit Skin

(cold tolerance)

West Indian
no anise scent
Blooms in the spring, and the fruit ripens in the summer of the same year
thin skin and unusually smooth

no anise scent
Blooms in the spring, and ripens in the spring & summer of the following year
thick skin, often rough

usually has an anise scent
Blooms in the winter, and the fruit ripens the following summer & fall
thin skin and usually smooth

The above followup was added by Mr. John Burglecutt on October 09, 2007 at 7:58 pm PST.

Leaf scent, I forgot about that, but Kern would of thought of it

That does break it down some, but ????

Mexican strains have the strongest smell of Anise, and the Mexican x Guatemalan crosses have varying degrees of Anise smell; this is a fairly large group, as you can see below. You can find the entire data this site has at:

This site is quite extensive and covers other warm climate fruits as well, quite extensively, compared to the CRFG site.

Many of these crosses smell just like Mexican strains plants, then you have some like Hass and etc, which have none or nearly no detectable Anise smell at all.

Unless you are very warm spot in Southern CA, you are not even going to be able to grow a full Guatemalan variety, and definitely not a West Indies varieties, which are generally even less cold freeze tolerant. I guess you realize they cross bred the Guatemalan and West Indies varieties with the Mexican varieties to achieve more cold hardiness and hopefully keeping some of the fruit qualities of the Guatemalan and West Indies ones. The most famous ones being the Hass like fruits.


GUATEMALAN X MEXICAN hybrids include:

'Bacon' Quality of flesh slightly better than 'Zutano'. Season: slightly later then 'Zutano'. Tends to be affected with end spot, an external blemish. This cultivar and 'Zutano' are the only 2 reasonably productive of 60 cultivars tried in Los Angeles and Orange Counties in California. In 1957, top working of all the others to these 2 cold hardy cultivars was strongly recommended. 'Bacon' is a good choice for tropical American highlands about 5,200 ft (160 m).

'Fuerte' (a natural hybrid originated at Atlixco, Mexico; introduced into California in 1911); pear shaped; small to medium or a little larger; skin slightly rough to rough, with many small yellow dots, thin, not adherent to flesh; flesh green near skin, 12 to 17% oil; seed small, tight. Season Jan. to Aug. in southern California; Dec. to Feb. in Israel; Apr. and May in Queensland, and New South Wales; mid-Aug. to Oct. in New Zealand. Tree is broad, very productive, but tends to bear biennially. Subject to scab and anthracnose in Florida. Formerly very popular in California (61 % of all avocados shipped); now second to 'Hass' because of a trend to summer instead of winter production and marketing that began in 1972. It is the leading cultivar in Chile where it bears more dependably than in California. It is a very erratic bearer in Israel. Represents 42% of all Australian plantings. Has long been the leading avocado on the European market.

'Hass' (seed planted at La Habra Heights, Calif.; registered in 1932); pear shaped to ovoid; of medium size; has a tendency to be undersized except in New Zealand; skin tough, leathery, dark-purple or nearly black when ripe; pebbled; fairly thin; flesh of good flavor, 18 to 22% oil, generally; up to 35% in Queensland; seed small. Season: begins in mid-Mar. in California; Nov. to Jan. in Queensland; mid-Nov. to Mar. in New Zealand; Aug. and Sept. in New South Wales. Formerly accounted for 20% of California avocados shipped; now is the leading cultivar (70% of the crop in 1984). Tree bears better then 'Nabal' in cool areas of California, but grows tall and requires topping. This is the leading cultivar in New Zealand, representing 50% of all commercial plantings; 25% in Queensland. It is second in importance to 'Fuerte' in Chile.

'Hayes' (a new hybrid in Hawaii, one parent being 'Hass'). Fruit resembles 'Hass' but is larger; skin is glossier, is pebbled, rough, thick and becomes brown-purple. Season: late (mid-Oct. to Dec. in New Zealand). Tree is erect with drooping branches and the fruit is largely sheltered by the foliage.

'Lula' (seed of 'Taft' planted in Miami in 1915); pearshaped, sometimes with neck; medium large; skin almost smooth; flesh pale-to greenish-yellow, 12 to 16% oil; seed large, tight. Season: medium-late (mid-Nov. and Dec.). Tree tall, bears early and heavily; cold resistant, successful in central and southern Florida where it was formerly the leading commercial cultivar. It is the principal cultivar in Martinique for exporting to France; represents 95% of the crop.

'Rincon' (originated at Carpinteria, California); pearshaped; small to medium; skin fairly thin, smooth, leathery; flesh buttery, contains 15 to 26.5% oil; fibers in flesh near base turn black when fruit is cut; seed of medium size. Season: Mar. and Apr. in Queensland, where it is rated as of poor quality. It is one of the 6 leading cultivars in California. Tree has a low spreading habit.

'Ryan' (perhaps seedling of 'amigo' found in 1927 at Whittier, California); pear-shaped; of medium size, 8 to 12 oz (226-340 g); skin medium-rough; flesh of fair quality; seed rather large. Season: May to Sept. in California; July to Oct. in Queensland. Tree large and bears regularly but not as heavily as 'Fuerte' or 'Hass' in Queensland. Important in Chile.

'Sharwil' (originated in Australia); similar to 'Fuerte' in shape but a little more oval; of medium size, skin rather rough, fairly thin; flesh rich in flavor, of high quality, 15 to 26% oil. Season: May and June in New South Wales and Queensland. Tree bears regularly but not heavily. Represents 18 to 20 % of all avocados in New South Wales and Queensland. Disease-free during ripening.

'Susan' (evaluated by California Avocado Society January 2, 1975; patented but patent has now expired); pear-shaped; of medium size, averaging 8 to 10 oz (227-283 g); skin light-green smooth, thin, peels well; flesh pale cream-color, of bland flavor; ripens unevenly with darkening spots; has slight tendency to turn dark when cut; not attractive; of only fair quality; seed large, loose; coat adheres to seed. Season: early fall; short. Tree of medium size; grown commercially only in the San Joaquin Valley because of its cold hardiness.

The above followup was added by DavidLJ48, Waterford CA, zone9 on October 10, 2007 at 9:17 am PST.

Thanks for the link.

This will make it more difficult to indentify, indeed.

The above followup was added by Mr. John Burglecutt on October 10, 2007 at 9:52 am PST.

Are avocados healthy?

For Mr. Burglecutt: Have eating lots of avocado made your fat or anything? And what about Brenda? What about your friend Bijon?

Are they all oK with that?

The above followup was added by DesertDave on March 10, 2008 at 6:04 pm PST.

Avocado Hass in miami

I want to have an avocado hass in miami, is this possible? from the seed?. Mine has 3 month old.

Thank you very much.

The above followup was added by Carmen on March 27, 2008 at 6:56 am PST.

Avocados Are Actually Quite Healthy.... moderation. Overeating is definitely not healthy, but that is the case with most anything.

Avocados are a good source of vitamin K, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate and copper. Avocados are also a good source of potassium: they are higher in potassium than a medium banana.

The fat content is 71 to 88% of their total calories - about 20 times the average for other fruits. A typical avocado contains 30 grams of fat, but 20 of these fat grams are health-promoting monounsaturated fats, especially oleic acid.

Hope this Helps!

Super Fan Gary

The above followup was added by BJ Gary on July 08, 2008 at 11:08 am PST.

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