Tree Friend

Tree Friend



  1. Average expected life of tree, in years, from sprout to death (approx numbers)

An avocado tree will continue to grow and produce fruit until something kills the tree. If healthy, 50-400 years


  1. Years until trees first fruit (ie some trees fruit within a few years, others can take decades)


Seedling trees take up to 8 years to fruit. However grafted trees can produce fruit in 2-4 years.

  1. Season of year when productive tree fruits (ie Summer, Autumn, Winter Spring or combo ie Su/Au)

The two main varieties of avocados grown in Australia are Hass and Shepard. Hass are in season from May through to January and Shepard’s are in season from February through to May.

  1. Expected or average number years tree expected to fruit for once it begins. (ie year 8 to 20 = 12 yrs)

The original Hass tree (1926) produced fruit until it died from root rot and was cut down in 2002 at the age of 76. There are reportedly wild trees in Mexico that are over 400 years old that are still producing.

  1. Country/area of origin

Central and South America. 50% of the world’s avocados are grown in Uruapan, Mexico

  1. Average annual rainfall in area of origin

Uruapan has average rainfall of 1625 mm which occurs mainly in its summer months from June to October with winter being moderately dry.

  1. Latin name of tree and family

(Persea americana), from the family Lauraceae (Myrtle).

  1. h) Any other products, benefits, useful or interesting facts about of tree:

ie good shade tree or wind break, good cabinet, building or fire wood, fire resistant, flood or drought tolerant. For example in Australia we have a challenge with termites that do a lot of damage eating wooden structures, there are certain woods that are naturally white ant resistant that allow a more reliable building without utilising white ant poison like is often done.

Avocados are used mainly as a food however are also used to make oil, soap, shampoo and skin care products.

An Australian woodworker has reported that it is suitable for carving, resembles White Beech (Eucalyptus kirtonii); is easy to work, and dresses and polishes beautifully. He has made jewellery boxes.

Avocado came from the Nahuatl (Aztec) word “ahuácatl” which means “testicle. It is also referred to as alligator pear.

Avocados will not ripen while they are still attached to the tree, apparently because of an inhibitor in the fruit stem.

  1. i) Height, width and shape of tree at maturity.

Please find measure for both diameter of trunk and also arbour (the tree foliage)   Note the profile shape is important for later design work, some trees have an overhanging canopy with bare trunk that can be walked around, others have foliage from base to top and in all sorts of patterns and densities.

Avocados are attractive evergreen trees which usually grow in a cyclical manner between 3- 6m high x 3-5m wide.

Trunk:   30-60 cm in diameter.

Fruit:   Large berry. Yellow-green or reddish brown, large, usually pear-shaped, sometimes ovoid or globose, 70-200 mm; exocarp corky; mesocarp fleshy and edible. Weighs 100-1,000 grams with a single large central see

Foliage: Avocado leaves are alternate, glossy, elliptic to obovate-oblong, 10–30 cm long, 4–10 cm wide, leathery, upper surface dark green, lower surface glaucous and sparsely hairy; secondary veins prominent, reticulum coarsely areolate; petiole 2–7 cm long. They normally remain on the tree for 2 to 3 years

Flowers: Although the trees produce an abundance of flowers, usually less than 0.1% of the flowers set fruit and most of these fruits abscise within 6 weeks from full bloom. Avocado flowers are inconspicuous and appear in terminal panicles of 200 – 300 small yellow-green blooms. Each panicle will produce only one to three fruits.

Harvesting: Avocados will naturally grow into large trees, which can make harvesting difficult. It is advisable to prune the tree when young to create a low branching structure which is easy to climb on to collect the fruit. Best to prune them back to 2-3m picking height each year.


  1. j) challenges or special requirements, such as needing other varieties in order to fruit

Root rot (Phytophthora cinnamomi) can develop fairly quickly in poorly-drained soils. It is therefore essential to determine in advance the suitability of the soil for avocado production. The tree’s primary requirement is good drainage. It cannot stand excessive soil moisture or even temporary water-logging.

Scale, aphids and thrips can also attack avocados.

Anthracnose is another fungal disease affecting avocados. It appears as small black spots on the foliage which spread out and cover the leaf, drying out the leaf which then falls off. It can also spread to the fruit causing fruit drop.

Avocado leaves, bark, skin, or pit are documented to be harmful to animals. Cats, dogs, cattle, goats, rabbits, rats, guinea pigs, birds, fish, and horses can be severely harmed or even killed when they consume them. The avocado fruit is poisonous to some birds.



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