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Cold-Hardy Avocados

COLD HARDY AVOCADOS



  

Avocados Persea Americana



Avocados are considered a tropical fruit, grown commercially in California, Mexico, and extreme south Florida near Homestead.  However, varieties discovered in the mountains of Mexico have considerable cold resistance, and will survive temperatures into the mid teens to low 20s, especially if grown in a protected location.  At the University of Florida campus, as every agriculture student remembers, there was a medium sized dark-skinned avocado (known as 'Gainesville') that ripened every year next to Hume Library (where we all studied), and was sought after by both the students in the know and squirrels! 

We grow a number of varieties of cold hardy Avocados, that are adapted to Zones 8-10, from coastal SC to TX! 

Cold Protection

 Make sure you plant them on the south face of a building, or underneath overhead canopy, much like protecting citrus. Avocado trees in the home landscape should be planted 25 to 30 feet apart or more.  Placing freeze cloth over them during hard freezes also helps protect them.  Another helpful technique is to mulch the plant above the graft union, so that it protects the rootstock and the graft from cold air (soil is warmer than air). The coldest temperatures listed per avocado variety depend on winter weather conditions.  Some conditions such as age of the tree, elevation, moisture levels, relative humidity and wind speed can result in a variance of the temperatures listed. Please protect all young plants during temperatures in the mid 40's.  Consider maintaining the height of your avocado tree to 20' to make an easier fruit harvest and to provide winter protection. 

Soils

Avocado trees do not tolerate flooding or poorly drained soils but are adapted to many types of well-drained soils. Continuously wet or flooded conditions often result in decreased growth and yields, nutrient deficiency symptoms, dieback, and sometimes tree death. Under these conditions, trees are highly susceptible to root infection by Phytophthora fungi.

Trees grow well and produce satisfactory yields in the sandy and limestone soils of Florida if not subjected to flooding or poor drainage. In the home landscape, select an area that does not flood. If there is a potential for excessively wet or flooded soil conditions plant on a large hill or mound made up of native soil, 2 to 4 ft high (0.6 to 1.2 m) by 4 to 6 ft diameter (1.2 to 1.8 m). 

Fertilization

Avocado trees should be fed on a regular basis after their first year of growing in the ground or in a container.  Fertilize using well balanced citrus / avocado food at least 4 times per year and as often as once a month. You can try Espoma Citrus & Avocado variety fertilizer.
Remember that avocado trees that
have been well feed year-round are better able to deal with cold temperatures in the winter. 

Water

Avocados prefer infrequent deep root waterings. Do not over water avocado trees!  Over watering is often the number one factor in causing root rot to develop in the first place. It is best to allow trees to dry out before you apply water again. In most cases, avocados will not need to be watered during the winter. However it is important to water in the winter if there are prolonged periods without rain.  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 spreading it out 2 to 3 feet from the trunk of the tree. 

Pruning

Formative pruning during the first 2 years may be desirable to encourage lateral branching and growth. After several years of production it is desirable to cut back the tops of the trees to 10 to 15 feet (3.1 to 4.6 m). Selectively removing a few upper limbs back to their origin (crotches) each year will help prevent the loss of the lower tree canopy due to shading by the upper canopy. In addition, maintaining a smaller tree facilitates tree care and fruit harvest, makes it easier to spray the tree, and greatly reduces possible storm damage. Do not remove lower tree branches.

Pruning should be done soon after harvest for early varieties, but after danger of frost has passed for late varieties. Severe pruning is sometimes used to reduce tree height or width of very large trees. It does not injure avocado trees, but reduces fruit production for one to several seasons.


 Avocados trees are classified 'A' or 'B' type. An  'A' or 'B' will produce by itself, but avocado trees produce heavier crops when an 'A' and a 'B' type are planted in close proximity. 


Avocados will begin to bear fruit within 3-4yrs of age.


Tree Form: Central leader
Height: 30-65' (depending on type)
Pollination: Self-pollinating
Bears: July-Mid December (depending on type) Within 3-4 yrs of age.
Light requirements: Full sun

Soil type: Well-drained, non- low lying areas.
Fertilization: After planting, wait about a month before fertilizing. Fertilizer mixtures containing 6 to 10% nitrogen, 6 to 10% available phosphorus petnoxide, 6 to 10% potash, and 4 to 6% magnesium give satisfactory results with young trees.
Watering: Newly planted avocado trees should be watered at planting and every other day for the first week or so and then 1 to 2 times a week for the first couple of months. During prolonged dry periods (e.g., 5 or more days of little to no rainfall) newly planted and young avocado trees (first 3 years) should be well watered twice a week.
Maintenance: Easy
USDA Hardiness Zone: 8-10


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Products 1-8 of 8
Brazos Belle Avocado
Availability: Out of Stock
Price: $29.95


Item #: Brazos Belle Avocoado - Brazos Belle is a medium to large, purple black (6-8oz) fruit, and is extremely cold hardy, down to 15-18F! Rich nutty flavor.  Survives and bears in Houston, TX, so will fruit as far north as...
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    Brogdon Avocado
    Availability: Out of Stock
    Price: $29.95


    Item #: Brogdon Avocado - Brogdon has large (8-12 oz) fruit, with a thin, dark purple skin and rich, flavorful flesh.   Medium sized tree to 30'. It is a hybrid of Mexican x West Indies avocados.  Makes great...
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      Day Avocado
      Availability: Pick-up Only
      Price: $29.95


      Item #: Day Avocado - Day is a hybrid Guatemalan x West Indies avocado. Green (8-16oz ) fruit.  Has large buttery fleshed fruit (up to 1 lb each!).  Quite cold hardy to 22F. Ripens from July-September. ...
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        Joey Avocado
        Availability: Out of Stock
        Price: $29.95


        Item #: Joey Avocado - Joey has small, egg-shaped fruit, with a dark purple skin and flavorful nutty flesh.  Ripens from August to October.  Extremely cold hardy, to 15-18F. Zones 8b-11.  Size shipped...
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          Lila Avocado
          Availability: Out of Stock
          Price: $29.95


          Item #: Lila Avocado - Lila has medium sized green (6-8oz) fruit, and ripens from July to September.  Rich nutty flavor. Extremely cold hardy, to 15F, Zones 8b-11.  Type?Size shipped 1 yr old 18-36" container...
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            Mexicola Avocado
            Availability: Out of Stock
            Price: $29.95


            Item #: Mexicola Avocado - Slightly smaller version of the Mexicola Grande. Cold Hardy to 18F. High quality fruit with thin shiny black skin. Fruit Size 4-8 oz. Ripens August to October. (A-Type)
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              Pancho Avocado
              Availability: Pick-up Only
              Price: $29.95


              Item #: Pancho Avocado - Pancho has medium to large green w/red blush fruit. 6-80z fruit. Rich nutty flavor.  Ripens from mid July- mid September.   Another extremely cold hardy variety from Texas, to 15-18F,...
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                Winter Mexican Avocado
                Availability: Out of Stock
                Price: $29.95


                Item #: Winter Mexican Avocado - Winter Mexican ripens from October-November, and is very cold hardy, to 18F, Zones 8-10.  Small, dark skinned fruit with rich, nutty flavor. Type BSize shipped 1 yr old 18-36" container...
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                  Products 1-8 of 8