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Avocado Trees

Q.Causing An Un-grafted Avocado Tree To Be A Fruiting Tree

Zone 95128 | Anonymous added on June 23, 2021 | Answered

I guess this is a question about the accuracy of info I received from an avocado rancher. I have a very large Avocado tree in my front yard that produces fruit very well. A neighbor, when we first move in, told us the tree was more than 50 years old. It is now 20 years later. A retired avocado rancher stopped by about 15 years ago. He was looking to trade some Hass avocados for some of mine, which he identified as the Pinkerton variety (a green variety), as he was working on developing improved hybrid varieties. He was particularly interested because he was surprised to find my variety growing this far north in CA. AND, my tree was a stand alone, and since avocado self fertilizes, as both male and female blossoms are on the tree, the pits would likely produce a close genetic duplicate of the tree. Anyway, during the conversation he said that trees sprouted from pits could be made to produce fruit by the way they are managed in the first few years. Most people saying that grafting was required. He said that when the sapling reached 18 inches, to cut it off at the midpoint. Then when it again reaches 18 inches, cut it off again. He explained that this caused a heavy root growth, and other changes in the sapling, that would cause it to be a good fruit producer as it grew. No grafting needed. I have a volunteer of the same variety in the back yard that is near the age of the front yard tree. It produced very sparsely, maybe a dozen a year, until about 10 years ago. I had to cut one of the limbs. The new growth off the stub began to produce more fruit that all the rest of the tree. Seems in a way to reinforce the retired rancher’s recommendations of forcing fruiting.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on July 7, 2021

Hormone induced fruiting is a common practice in many trees, and the avocado is no exception! Sometimes, if you stress a tree or plant in the right way, you can force genes to express themselves. With plants, hermaphrodites are common. This is a last ditch effort to survive, as a species. Some gardeners have figured this out, which lends to new methodology when working with trees or plants.

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