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A forum for growing fruits and rare tropical and temperate fruits, and tending our orchards

Avocados in Amity Oregon

Postby DavidInAmity » Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:47 pm

DavidInAmity
Cloudforest Expert
 
Posts: 183
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:49 am
Climate Zone: USDA 8 in Amity Oregon
Hi all,

Last year I promised several people I would post on my avocados. But last year got away from me and now it is this year!

As some may recall, I am growing cloned avocados in pots up near Portland, Oregon. The plan was to put them in a greenhouse, but that got away from me too. So, they have been outdoors now for at least 20 months up here (and mostly outdoors since Spring 2010 when I bought most of them). You can read more background about them here:

http://www.cloudforest.com/cafe/palms/avocados-amity-oregon-t1792.html

So, here are some pictures of my collection from different angles, taken in Sept 2012. Foreground: mostly one off cultivars with Mexican genes bought from Green Thumb in Ventura CA:

Image

And these are Hass and Lamb Hass on clonal rootsocks from Brokaw Nursery:

Image

Image

This winter they are still outdoors:

Image

However, the temp got down to around 22 F on Saturday Jan 12, 2013; and, ahhh, some of the avocado tree leaves got a bit crispyfied...

Image

So, rather than give my assessments as to the damage / cold hardiness of the trees now, I think I'ma agonna wait until the damage and regrowth becomes clear.

So, don't hold your breath, but this thread will be continued anon!

David in Amity

Re: Avocados in Amity Oregon

Postby Axel » Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:29 pm

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Axel
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Location: Santa Cruz Mountains
Climate Zone: sunset 15/USDA 9b
Yikes! I wouldn't leave them out without a heat source at 22F, even down here if there is a threat of a severe freeze that could head into the 22F range, I pull out the propane heaters with overhead cover protection.

Keep in mind that in a pot, they are even less hardy, so your will most likely have root cold damage. Honestly, that's what the damage on yours looks like. Because when the foliage freezes, it turns black, not yellow. Brown/yellow means the roots can't push nutrients into the leaves anymore.

DavidInAmity wrote:This winter they are still outdoors:

Image

However, the temp got down to around 22 F on Saturday Jan 12, 2013; and, ahhh, some of the avocado tree leaves got a bit crispyfied...

Image

So, rather than give my assessments as to the damage / cold hardiness of the trees now, I think I'ma agonna wait until the damage and regrowth becomes clear.

So, don't hold your breath, but this thread will be continued anon!

David in Amity

Re: Avocados in Amity Oregon

Postby DavidLJ48 » Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:02 pm

DavidLJ48
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Posts: 2189
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 8:38 pm
Location: San Joaquin Valley, CA
Climate Zone: Sunset Zone 14, USDA zone 9b
Smaller potted avocados are more easily protected, with a cover and ground heat, much easier next to ones home; that has been my experience here. My losest temp in this last freeze was down to 23.5F. I had smaller 5 gallon plants, Sir Prize and Lamb Hass under Agribon 50, they are all ok, but are close to the ground.

It as a bit weird this winter, I tented my Mexican Hass with Agribon 50, to the ground. Was surprized, it took damage on top, less damage as you got closer to the ground. The same variety next to my home, just under a polycarbonate roof, was not burned either. Have a 20 gallon abouts, Reed under polycarbonate roof, near my home, with Agribon 50, just on the top of it, no damage.

I was looking at my Bacon limb on my largest tree couple hours ago, also a unknown variety, very similar. I was shocked or surprized, the few fruits scrattered on the limbs this year, took damage, some are a bit soft, the less mature fruits, have split skins, not split fruit flesh. It is like the skin shrunk, or maybe the fruit expanded, then shank back to size after thawing, not quite sure what happen, have never had this happen before.

How do you plan on protecting the trees, once they are larger ?

David
Sunset zone 14, USDA zone 9b

Re: Avocados in Amity Oregon

Postby RobertS » Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:02 pm

RobertS
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Climate Zone: Sunset zone 17
Thanks for posting update of your avo's David, sorry to see the damage they took this year. You have a very challenged area to be growing some of your avocado's in that's for sure. Maybe you could get them in the ground and but a hoop tunnel over them with some kind of heat sink or heat source for cold winter nights. Keep us posted with your on the edge growing.

Re: Avocados in Amity Oregon

Postby Ed of Somis » Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:33 pm

Ed of Somis
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Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 11:46 am
Location: Ventura Co.
Climate Zone: Sunset zone 21
D...you are truly a pioneer and a brave man! I enjoy this thread quite a bit. Here in Somis we had a cold snap a couple weeks ago, but nothing like your cold! (see past posts) I have learned that covering with inexpensive options (like tarps, sheets, etc) can definately help. My experiment with buying bulk xmas lite wire, lites, and sockets...seemed to have helped warm small trees. It was fairly cheap....but a lot of work. My time is not that valuable. haha. Out of my 16 trees (13 varieties)...my Reed definately is the most cold-sensitive. Keep us posted...

Re: Avocados in Amity Oregon

Postby CTMIAMI » Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:05 pm

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CTMIAMI
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Location: Homestead Florida
Climate Zone: 10b
Congratulations you are a real pioneer. Keeping those trees alive so far north. We are having an unusually warm winter in So. Florida all of my avocados seem to be flowering early. If I could sent you some heat I would. Keep up this special ops!!!!!!

Re: Avocados in Amity Oregon

Postby DavidInAmity » Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:59 pm

DavidInAmity
Cloudforest Expert
 
Posts: 183
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:49 am
Climate Zone: USDA 8 in Amity Oregon
Thanks all for the responses. Your enthusiasm for my little avocado project has definitely imspired me to continue reporting on it here!

Axel, I agree that trees in pots are more sensitive than those in the ground. Part of what I am interested in is whether or not the Brokaw clonal rootstocks are more or less cold sensitive. So, as they say, to tell what is cold hardy you gotta let some freeze!

DavidLJ48, I am not quite sure what I am going to do with all my avocado trees long term. Maybe try to get some cuttings from RobertS and really see which cultivars are cold hardy? I am really tempted to buy another greenhouse and try to grow avocados for the market. But like you, I really don't have the spare change lying around to do that kind of project. I also find it interesting that regardless of how far apart we are north - south, we are only about a degree and a half F different for a storm minimum.

RobertS, between your heat deprived summers and my short growing season, we should really be able to turn some thumbscrews on avocados to see which ones are the best! Keep expanding your collection of cultivars! After I stabilize my sitiuation a bit and finsih building my new house, I'd love to increase my own collection by top grafting some of the avocado trees I already have, especially some of the Brokaw trees.

Ed of Somis, I remember what that clay gumbo soil was like out in my grove in Moorpark. Keep fighting the good fight, and count the blessings of that wonderful climate you have!

CT of Miami, thanks for the heat. A really nice day here today, I think I will go out and do something outdoors the rest of the day!


The weather was only "supposed" to get down to 25 F that night (which I have reasonably handled before). So, now I think I have a better idea of what the limit for avocados may be. We shall see more after regrowth starts in May!

By the way, I ate a Owari Satsuma Mandarin for lunch today, taken off of my tree:

Image

It too has been mostly outdoors for the past three years. It will probably be the first I actually plant outdoors in the ground of any of my citrus and avocados. And of couse I will have the agribon and some utility lights available just in case!

Best regards to all
David in Amity

Re: Avocados in Amity Oregon

Postby CTMIAMI » Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:12 pm

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CTMIAMI
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:59 am
Location: Homestead Florida
Climate Zone: 10b
Love your reports keep it up

Re: Avocados in Amity Oregon

Postby Ed of Somis » Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:34 pm

Ed of Somis
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Posts: 416
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 11:46 am
Location: Ventura Co.
Climate Zone: Sunset zone 21
aren't those Owari Satsuma mandarins fantastic??? I love mine. hehe

Re: Avocados in Amity Oregon

Postby Solko » Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:06 am

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Location: Northern Portugal
Climate Zone: USDA 9
Hi David,

I also follow your projects with a lot of interest and love what you are doing. It provides so much information about what is or what could be possible. I was wondering whether you had any experience with these new Texas avocado's that claim to be super cold hardy? Like Joey or Lila?

And did you ever consider just hanging transparent agricultural plastic over the entire lenght of your porch/veranda? I know it is not the prettiest solution, but it seems you could easily get a greenhouse effect like that in a very affordable way. It would help minimize damage.

On the other hand, like this you really get to know which ones prove to be cold hardy for you. I am also trying to get avocado's to grow, plant lots of seeds and don't mind 80 percent if them dying, because that's the point of the experiment, right?

Best of luck!

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