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  • Avocado Enthusiast?

    Hi, thought I would check to see if any of the members are into avocados also? I've been trying for a couple of years now and finally have some that I grafted myself blooming. Still on the hunt for scions of carmen Hass, sharwil and one they called Red Ibis ( like the bird). It has been fun learning which seeds seem to make the best root stock here and then learning the grafting process. Of course I've had my fair share of failures but that's part of the learning process. In case anyone is interested the slimcaddos sold at the grocery stores worked the best for me, I assume it was because of the large seed with a very energetic growth rate. Also since I live in zone 8b I have gradually buried the graft well below the frost line as I have up sized their pots.
    P.S. the last up size almost did me in, getting a little to old to be lifting that kind of weight. The pots they are in now are the biggest plastic nursery pots I could find, Almost couldn't fit them in my 4-runner.
    Thanks
    P.S. I would love to hear about anyone Else's experiences with avocados too.

  • #2
    My cousin in FL has a huge tree in his backyard--getting them from him when my parents visit, I always marvel at how big the FL avocados are. Their seeds are gigantic too, and sprout easily. My hubby has one 2' tree that he sprouted from a slimcado and we have to up-pot it soon. Right now it's in a self-watering 1-gallon pot. I believe the one at Fast-Growing Trees is meant to fruit at a small size in a pot. They're kind of expensive, but good quality.
    Zone 7a in Virginia

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    • #3
      I personally don't have any experience with avocados except for trying to get seeds to root as a kid... which was fun at the time. My Dad just ordered a "Day Avocado" tree from a catalog, but I'm not sure which one. I'll keep everyone posted with his progress. He's located in zone 6.

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      • #4
        I have a few in ground one is a Bacon very cold hardy and a Hass tried to post Pic's in full bloom

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        • #5
          I am currently trying to root some avocados in my aeroponics cloner. A buddy of mine has a great avocado tree. We have no idea what it is. It has large great tasting fruit that is green, and within about a day or two will turn purple, indicating the fruit is ripe. he has tried unsuccessfully for several years to get cuttings to root. I am taking a stab at it this year. So far not much action, good or bad. I guess we may have to resort to grafting if the cloner fails.

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          • Taverna78
            Taverna78 commented
            Editing a comment
            You try air layer?

          • danw
            danw commented
            Editing a comment
            Not yet. But he will try an air layer if this last rooting attempt fails. I wonder if the fact that the tree won't root from cuttings also means air layers will not take?

        • #6
          Thanks to all of you who replied, Personally I've never had any luck rooting a cutting. Grafting has been the only method that has worked so far. I might try air layering though.

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          • #7
            Have small one growing from seed. May have to special order for my area from Lowes. Would like tp pick avocados from my own free. I would also like to try grafting to Hass tree.

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            • #8
              I have 2 growing in pots, they are in the grow room now, one is in bloom; I bought them both last spring.

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              • #9
                There's an avocado tree in one out of every three properties in my neighborhood in SoFla. There's a mango on every other property here. During the season, people just walk around with plastic bags and pick up whatever's fallen - sapodilla, mango, lychee, coconut, starfruit, etc. I can't name a single variety, unfortunately.

                Gotta say, I'm a fan of the buttery, creamy varieties like Haas. Sometimes the bigger FL avocados can use a bit of help in the kitchen but the creamy ones - just a little maldon salt and a spoon.
                Last edited by Levar; 03-07-2016, 08:52 AM.

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                • #10
                  I'm so jealous, wish I could go sidewalk grocery shopping.

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                  • Levar
                    Levar commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Well, some people get carried away and just walk way too far into people's yards and begin a habit of lurking too close to the actual homes.

                    A lot of people put their trees right where the sidewalk begins so "gatherers" will just be on their way.

                    But if we don't gather what can't be eaten by a family, rats and other rodents show up. Sometimes they'll get hit by cars and the mingling stenches of roadkill and fermenting mangoes in the summer heat is really something you don't want burned into your memory.
                    Last edited by Levar; 03-07-2016, 09:08 AM.

                • #11
                  Ouch that last bit kind of,(killed) the dream. Pardon the pun.

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                  • Levar
                    Levar commented
                    Editing a comment
                    lol. I'm interested in seeing what you do with your avocados. Please keep us updated.

                • #12
                  http://www.tropicalfruitnursery.com/avocado-viewer/

                  May this be useful to anyone looking for help figuring out what avocados will do best for them. I've bought many trees from this nursery - totally reputable.

                  Like figs, sapodillas, and mangoes, individual avocado cultivars tend to have different harvest periods throughout the season. Getting a few varieties to stagger out your harvest is the way to go, if you have the space. Or gift a few to your neighbors - they won't be able to eat all of them anyway.

                  If you scroll all the way to the bottom, they give you their recommendations which I'm going to repost here. The name of each cultivar is a link to a description page.

                  Pine Island Nursery Picks:
                  Best Commercial Varieties
                  Early: Doni, Simmonds
                  Mid: Miguel, Beta
                  Late:Monroe, Choquette

                  Best Dooryard Varieties
                  Early: Simmonds
                  Mid: Miguel
                  Late: Choquette
                  Last edited by Levar; 03-07-2016, 11:35 AM.

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                  • Inkfin
                    Inkfin commented
                    Editing a comment
                    They didn't have any container (or dwarf) variety?

                  • Levar
                    Levar commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Their inventory tends to change depending on what their suppliers are growing and their website sometimes isn't updated to reflect that. I remember going last year and catching them up-potting a ton of LSU Purples and Texas Everbearing figs, but they never listed them on the website.

                    If you're in the area or are looking to purchase, definitely drop them a line.

                • #13
                  I did a little bit of research on avocado types a while back. I'm in zone 6B and was hoping that their were cold hardy varieties that would our winters. What I concluded was that:

                  1. Lowest you can safely grow avocados is in zone 10 (lows being 30F - 40F; though you might be able to get away with a zone 9)
                  2. Container grown avocado trees will not produce avocados

                  Please correct me if I'm wrong about this as I would love, love, LOVE to grow a avocado tree in my climate.
                  Malcolm - Carroll County, MD (zone 6b). Interested in cold hardy figs. Currently container growing, MBVS, St. Rita, Olympian, RdB, Beale, Sal's EL, UCD 184-15s and Desert King.

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                  • #14
                    Ouch, yes from what I have read that is to cold. A container tree could work, (wurtz, holiday maybe even a stewart) but it would require a huge pot and a very dedicated person watching the weather to move it indoors whenever a freeze was coming. Also they are considered an evergreen so if the freeze lasted to long you might have to provide a light source. I am in zone 8b and made frames that I cover with tarps and run floodlights during our brief freezes here. Once they are a little bigger I will put them in the ground on the south side of my home.

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                    • #15
                      Maybe one day someone will create a hybrid that will allow avocados to travel up 95 a bit. Until then I'm stuck getting supermarket avocados which I'm sure just like figs, are crap vs. picking one ripe right off the tree.
                      Malcolm - Carroll County, MD (zone 6b). Interested in cold hardy figs. Currently container growing, MBVS, St. Rita, Olympian, RdB, Beale, Sal's EL, UCD 184-15s and Desert King.

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                      • smithmal
                        smithmal commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Levar,

                        Good to know, but you kind of ruined Christmas mornings for me.... I was hoping that avocados from the store (which I love) were only the tip of the iceberg regarding flavor. Speaking of flavor, which avocado is know for having the best and does anyone get their avocados shipped/obtained from a vendor other than the supermarket for an inexpensive price?

                      • Levar
                        Levar commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Christmas isn't cancelled. Your stocking stuffer ought to be Maldon salt.

                        It's a textured salt that's lauded by basically all of the world's most respected chefs. You crumble it with your fingers over whatever you're serving whether it's seared fish, melon, or ice cream and it adds dimensions of both crunchy texture and amplified flavor without additional, possibly competing flavors. Avocado loves it.

                        Haas is a really reliable cultivar for my palate. Although, Oro Negro (Black Gold) is widely respected here in SoFla and I'm thinking of putting one out front. Things like Slimcado aren't for my palate, but I like my avocados as buttery and creamy as possible. I'm not sure whether I've had a Simmonds but they look similar to these huge, bright green, rather famous FLA green ones that are often kind of watery and not so great.

                        As for shipping and wholesale purchases, I'm not sure.

                      • SarinaP
                        SarinaP commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Malcolm, go to your local Korean grocery store--there is a Lotte in Ellicott City and GrandMart or HMart are also good. They will have multiple varieties of avocados including Florida (larger, green), Slimcados, and smaller black ones as well. Get them hard and let them ripen in a brown paper bag in stages so you always have one ripe and one ripening. To me, the Florida avocado taste is "greener" and more well suited for salads, as mentioned, or eating plain. The Haas are definitely more buttery.

                    • #16
                      There used to be a person called The Avocado Diva who shipped. I think there is a farm that ships but you would have to google that one. Taste is subjective and you will start a war between the Californians and the Floridians on that one. Of course it depends also on what you want it for, personally I like the Florida types for salads and California for guacamole. There are lots of reviews from Hawaii also. Of course the best is always the one you pick off your own tree at its peak. You can always check out the Tropical Fruit Forum for more info.

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                      • #17
                        Originally posted by kingoceanos View Post
                        There used to be a person called The Avocado Diva who shipped. I think there is a farm that ships but you would have to google that one. Taste is subjective and you will start a war between the Californians and the Floridians on that one. Of course it depends also on what you want it for, personally I like the Florida types for salads and California for guacamole. There are lots of reviews from Hawaii also. Of course the best is always the one you pick off your own tree at its peak. You can always check out the Tropical Fruit Forum for more info.
                        I used to subscribe to AvocadoDiva when she was in business. I was a 'ultimate' member (got two shipments a month). Best subscription service I ever had. We would get absolutely fresh (picked by her and her crew) seasonal avoados: Fuerte, Pinkerton, Reed, Nabal!!, Sir Prize, Lamb, MacArthur, Nobel, Marvel, Gem, Bacon, etc. They were so awesome. I really got spoiled on premium CA avocados. But so many of the small growers that have the old varieties on the old trees are stumping them because of the drought and when they come back, they will probably graft on Hass.
                        Location: USDA Zone 9b / Sunset 13. Chandler, AZ

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                        • #18
                          I have a Joey, Fantastic and Lila as they are supposed to be the most cold hardy. They are about 4 feet tall now. I have them planted in 50 gallon barrels cut in half. I am waiting for the stalks to turn more woody than green then I plan on planting them in large raised box beds. I am in south louisiana and have been trying to years to get them to work. But they have all died from either being over watered, to much direct sun, to cold. These are 2 years old now and seem to be my best shot yet. I am in South Louisiana.

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                          • #19
                            This was very interesting from Raintree. What do you guys think?

                            "Growing Avocados in Pots

                            Raintree is offering avocado varieties that have shown the most success in pot culture. Your tree needs high humidity to grow. If the roots dry out the tree will defoliate, so grow it in a greenhouse or area with high humidity. Temperatures below 50 F will also cause defoliation. All the varieties are on seedling rootstock. Each variety, even the dwarfs, are very rapid growers and the dwarf varieties aren't going to be much smaller or more successful than the others when grown in pots. Avocado plants don't do well if root pruned or severely top pruned so the way to grow them is to start by putting the plant we send you into a 15 gallon pot. Every two years move it to a bigger pot; 20 gallon, 25 gallon etc. Being somewhat pot bound can bring the tree into production in three or four years. After six or eight years it will be too big for most growers. If you don't live where you can transplant it outdoors, you will need to start again with a small plant."
                            Zone 7A - Philadelphia
                            Flavor Profiles & Variety List / Facebook / YouTube / Blog

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                            • smithmal
                              smithmal commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Anyone have any evidence that these trees can fruit when grown in a container? I've been combing the net so far have had no luck finding postings where the OP has evidence of a dwarf avocado tree producing well when container grown. Its my understanding that they will survive and may even flower when being grown in a container, but will not fruit and/or immature fruit falls off the tree when growing these dwarf varieties in containers.

                          • #20
                            There is some truth to it. But everything is subjective, Just remember All avocados have spreading roots so bigger is always better when it comes to pots and you might consider using microkote for the pots, Carlos has reported great success with it. I have the stewart avocado in whiskey barrel sized pot and it is in bloom now. The tree has stayed pretty small about eight feet tall and four feet across it was in a three gallon when I bought it three years ago.
                            P.S. I do protect my trees from freezes.

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                            • #21
                              So I looked into mail order avocados (https://www.californiaavocadosdirect.com) and they are selling for $25 per dozen plus $14 for shipping if you get the monthly subscription. That about $3.33 per avocado. Is that the standard price for shipped avocados? I'm thinking avocados at the store usually go for about $1 to $1.50 per fruit. This site is shipping 6 avocados for $75 (http://chefshop.com/Fresh-Reed-Avoca...ast-P6785.aspx)! That's outrageous (isn't it?)!
                              Malcolm - Carroll County, MD (zone 6b). Interested in cold hardy figs. Currently container growing, MBVS, St. Rita, Olympian, RdB, Beale, Sal's EL, UCD 184-15s and Desert King.

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                              • #22
                                Yes, I do have to admit the mail ordered avocados are pretty high. But you have to realize they are usually sending the biggest best ones you can get, kind of like eggs, You can get A, AA, or AAA size and with the Reeds since they are supposed to be really good that would be like the free range organic AAA eggs. If your like me and most of the avocados wind up as guacamole, then store bought is the way to go. On the other hand if your a gourmet chef who demands the best, (And can afford it) then get the reeds and charge your customers appropriately

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                                • #23
                                  I believe it was the U of FL that did research in the 60's or 70's (OK it was a long time ago) and it was determined that the most cold hardy are of Mexican descent. It is easy to tell the Mexican race ones by crushing a leaf. It will have an anise smell if it is Mexican. They also found that if you bury the graft five to six inches below the surface, if you have a killing freeze it will grow back from buried portion above the graft saving your varietal choice. No need to gradually bury the graft just do it. As a general rule Mexican will only graft to Mexican rootstock. Additionally they found the tree never roots from above the graft so your rootstock remains true and your variety is preserved.

                                  Duke Avocado is a non-commercial Mexican race that is very cold hardy and has good flavor. Google Duke Avocado for more information. Also Mrs. Holland. You cannot buy these and will have to find a friend to get graft wood. I have a Mexicola that is growing in 8b Pensacola, Fl. It is currently covered in blooms. In 2014 it was killed to the ground but has now regrown and is about six feet tall an wide. I did not dig around the base after the freeze but I believe it is the Mexicola that grew back. I should be able to confirm it later this year.
                                  Darkman AKA Charles in Pensacola South of I-10 zone 8b/9a

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                                  • #24
                                    Charles, this is great information, thanks for supplying it. I'd definitely be willing to grow an avocado tree if I can expect growth after die back (similar to figs). Is the winter protection procedures similar to what is done with fig trees?

                                    The Duke avocado seems very interesting. There's a great write up noted below posted by an individual who spent many years trying to find a Duke Avocado tree and then graft it onto avocado root stock. I'm going to contact him and see if I can obtain some budwood from him and/or if he knows where I could obtain some as it is not commercially available. I've also reached out to an individual on a citrus forum that grows Mrs. Holland to see if I might obtain budwood from him as well.

                                    Speaking of avocado rootstock, does anyone know what would be best in terms of freeze protection and clay soils?
                                    Last edited by smithmal; 03-18-2016, 10:13 AM.
                                    Malcolm - Carroll County, MD (zone 6b). Interested in cold hardy figs. Currently container growing, MBVS, St. Rita, Olympian, RdB, Beale, Sal's EL, UCD 184-15s and Desert King.

                                    Comment


                                    • #25
                                      So I've been corresponding with Bill Bird (author of the link "Duke Rides Again" linked above) and he's been very informative regarding the Duke avocado.

                                      He no longer provides budwood but indicated I could try out the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS). The NPGS does have Duke budwood out of their Miami location. Because I am not in state, I'd need to pay $50 for a "phytosanitary certificate" and then I'd need to set up a FedEx account so they could mail it to me.

                                      Has anyone ever used the NPGS to obtain fig cuttings? I know most of the fig cuttings from the NPGS come out of their UC-Davis location. Would the phytosanitary certificate work for all NPGS stations, or are they location specific? Also, are these certificates lifetime or annual?

                                      I could see the benefit of obtaining one of the certificates if they are lifetime as the NPGS has a ton of interesting fig cuttings. Has anyone done this lately?

                                      Finally, any idea where I could obtain a good avocado rootstock? I've read of one called
                                      Dusa (Merensky 2) but I think that it is for sale only for high volume commercial growers. I've also heard that Duke rootstock is suppossedly very good and if you can obtain a Duke seed, you can easily grow rootstock from it, but I have no idea how to obtain that either.

                                      Bill Bird suggested going to Butte County, CA as the Duke avocado is found all over the place over there, but I'm not about to make a pilgrimage to CA to look for a rare avocado tree.

                                      Of course, my other concern is "IF" the Duke is hardy enough to grow down to a zone 7, how come none of the nurseries have commercially grown it and offered it to the public? I wondering if this is a bit of a wild goose chase on my part....
                                      Malcolm - Carroll County, MD (zone 6b). Interested in cold hardy figs. Currently container growing, MBVS, St. Rita, Olympian, RdB, Beale, Sal's EL, UCD 184-15s and Desert King.

                                      Comment


                                      • kevinstewart20
                                        kevinstewart20 commented
                                        Editing a comment
                                        The Dusa & Merensky are daughter trees from a Duke 7. The only supplier of Duke 7 that I am aware of is Brokaw nursery in SoCal, and they are wholesale. I think the reason why the Duke is not readily available is two reasons, size, and on a commercial scale the fruit bruises easily due to it's thin skin. I wouldn't say the Duke grows "all over" in Butte , but it is there. I tried cuttings in different conditions that did not work, I tried 4 grafts one is still greenish so it may work, but I went back up a tried two airlayers. I am heading up tomorrow to check on them. Having a clone would be the best in my opinion because from the roots to leaves it's a superior tree in my opinion, if you use it as a rootstock your graft won't be frost tolerant like the rootsock.
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