Avocados Varieties & Care

Avocado toast and trees

The Avocado

two half avocados, one whole and aocado leaves layed in the shape of a leafThe avocado dates back thousands of years but was first introduced to the United States when Judge R.B. Ord of Santa Barbara brought them over from Mexico in 1871.  By 1950, there were approximately 25 different varieties of avocados including the ever-popular and California Native, Haas Avocado.  Today, there are over 500 different varieties of avocado trees. 

The avocado trees we stock, are typically available mid-April to June each year.

According to www.californiaavocado.com, a single California avocado tree can produce up to 200 pounds of fresh fruit each year - approximately 500 pieces, although most average around 60 pounds or 150 pieces of fruit.

Avocado Varieties

Please note that selection may vary by location

Haas avocado cut in half with and without pit, as well as shown whole lying on a wood table

Haas Avocado

  • Green fruit turns black when ripe, with its recognizable pebbly skin
  • Fruit size 10-12 oz.
  • Ripens April – September, an extremely long season
  • Large tree, frost sensitive below 32ºF
  • Tree will reach 25'-35' at maturity
  • Not recommended for container planting

Haas Avocado trees appreciate well aerated soil that retains moisture and also drains well. Provide full sun, 8 or more hours of direct sunlight per day and regular feeding to keep the tree happy and productive.

A single round Reed avocado hanging from a tree

Reed Avocado Tree

  • Fruit has excellent flavor
  • Produces some of the largest fruit of all the avocados
  • Large, green, round fruit
  • Fruit size 12-18 oz.
  • Late fruit season
  • Frost sensitive below 32ºF
  • Reaches 14 to 20 ft. at maturity

Guacamole in a guacamole molcajete with avocados cut in half and lying next to the bowl

Lamb Haas Avocado Tree

  • "Hass-like" Cultivar with black skinned fruit
  • Lamb-Hass is a cross between the traditional Hass Avocado and a Gwen (Dwarf) Avocado
  • Fruit size- 10-16 oz.
  • Ripens April- November. Longer season than traditional Hass!
  • Frost sensitive below 30 º F
  • Tree will reach 25 to 35 ft. at maturity

Two pieces of avocado toast on a plate

Sir Prize Avocado Tree

  • A Haas type with black skin and 10-20 oz. fruit
  • Ripens before Haas in the winter
  • Fruit does not oxidize when cut or kept refrigerated
  • Frost sensitive below 32 º F
  • Tree will reach 25 to 35 ft. at maturity

Sliced avocados in a mandarin salad with pomegranates, feta, seeds and spinach

Carmen Avocado Tree

  • Carmen is similar to Haas Avocado but smaller fruit
  • Excellent flavor
  • The fruit has black, medium-thick skin and an oval shape
  • Frost sensitive below 32 ºF
  • Tree will reach 25 to 35 ft. at maturity

Avocado Tree Planting & Care

Planting: A single ripe avocado hanging from a treeWell drained soil, sunny locations, and wind protection Avocados require well drained soil and will not thrive in heavy clay soils for long. If you do have heavy clay soils, we recommend planting your avocado tree in a raised bed. The raised bed should be at least two feet above the existing grade of the soil. It is also very important not to plant avocado trees too deeply. We recommend planting them at least l"-2" inches above the existing soil grade and then creating a small mound around the base with a mixture of compost and well drained soil. Avocado trees should be planted in sunny locations that are protected from wind. Avocado trees are susceptible to root rot so you should not plant a new avocado tree in a space where an old tree had died as the soil may be contaminated. If you want to mix more than one type of avocado tree together in a back yard setting, it is possible to plant more than one tree in the same hole or plant the trees together with as little as 4 feet of space between the trunks. But remember, avocado trees can grow up to 25' if not shaped, so select variety planting site carefully.

Multiple avocados hanging from tree

Watering: Do not overwater avocado trees! Over watering trees in the ground in certain soils is often the number one factor in causing root rot. Avocados prefer infrequent deep root watering. It is best to allow trees to dry out before you apply water again. Avocados in containers do need consistent frequent watering.

Mulching: It is a good idea to apply a 3 to 4 inch layer of mulch to avocado trees each year to help retain soil moisture and improve soil quality. Apply mulch in spring and fall under the canopy of the tree, keep it away from the trunk of the tree.

Pruning: Frequent pinching of young trees is a good method to shape the tree, rather than heavy pruning. Avocado trees can be susceptible to sunburn so newly pruned trees and young trees can be whitewashed with interior white latex paint, diluted 50-50 with water during periods of high summer heat and intense sunshine.

Fertilizing: Avocado trees should be fed on a regular basis. Fertilize using well balanced citrus / avocado food using the manufacturer’s recommendations. Avocado trees that have been well feed year-round are better able to deal with cold temperatures in the winter. In California, avocado trees can be considered self-fruitful.

At SummerWinds Nursery, we pride ourselves on having the best products and most knowledgeable staff. Stop in and let one of our Trusted Garden Advisors answer any additional questions you may have regarding selecting, planting or caring for an avocado tree.

Sources: fourwindsgrowers.com - Growing Avocado