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Who here grows avocados, and did you know that they're berries?

 
master pollinator
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My much better half and I grow out our grocery store avocado pits. Our oldest is 4 and taller than me.

Who knew they were berries?

-CK
 
gardener
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free trees are always great. I have to build winter protection for them to survive.

oh, I knew they were berries because of a grower who was a friend in the Los Angeles area told me they were back in 1960.
 
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did not know that, thanks
 
pollinator
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I've got 3 avocado trees.  Over the years, I've had a few others but they didn't work out.  I've got a large Haas, a large and tall Fuerte, and a small stunted Haas.  I cut down a Reed years ago -- I didn't like the watery nature of the fruit on that tree.  I had a really nice Fuerte die a few years ago, and that bummed me out.

A couple of things I've learned about avocados.

First, if you're paying for "organic" avocados, you're being ripped off.  There is absolutely no reason to every spray them or treat them with anything other than a nice deep drink of water.  They are pest free, don't need to be pruned, and are so easy to grow.

Second, the avocados don't ripen on the tree, but must be picked in order for the fruit to ripen.  While hanging on the tree, the tree provides an enzyme that keeps the fruit from ripening.  Once you pick them, they'll start to ripen --- it takes about 2 weeks before they are ready to eat.

Third, in many Mexican stews and soups, they use the leaves to provide a herbaceous undertone.  You'll see the dried leaves for sale in the market.  It's a subtile flavor.

Fourth, they don't bear evenly every year.  They tend to bear on a two or a three year cycle, either heavy one year and light the next year, or on a three year rotation where you'll get a light harvest, a heavy harvest, and then absolutely none in the third year.  In a larger orchard, the trees will bear at different times so it all evens out.

We get 150 to 200 nice big avocados per tree when we get a heavy crop on the Haas.  On the Fuerte, we'll get almost 100 and they are really big, nice avocados.

 
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I have a couple in pots as big house plants in my flat. I love them but I wonder if they will ever fruit in pots. I also wonder if they could survive outside in conrwall, UK but I'm too attached to my house plants to try
 
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Natasha,  I believe a tree has to be 6 to 10 years old to bare fruit.  Here are a couple of threads where that is mentioned:

https://permies.com/t/37478/avocado-tree-experience

https://permies.com/t/87544/avocado-trees-facts-fiction-pushing:

 
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“Second, the avocados don't ripen on the tree, but must be picked in order for the fruit to ripen.  While hanging on the tree, the tree provides an enzyme that keeps the fruit from ripening.  Once you pick them, they'll start to ripen --- it takes about 2 weeks before they are ready to eat.

Third, in many Mexican stews and soups, they use the leaves to provide a herbaceous undertone.  You'll see the dried leaves for sale in the market.  It's a subtile flavor.”


My family adds dry avocado leaf to the beans, when we make black bean tamales; I wouldn’t say is subtle flavor it  is strong and nothing like! :) and a few strong serrano peppers , yumminess!

I remember a couple of avocado trees where my grandma used to lived and they wouldn’t bear evenly as you said,  no one kept them so when they drop most of them were spoiled... it was a “wild” variety and not one of the named one mostly pit and no fruit but they were very flavorful.

 
pollinator
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https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=Awr9Jm.HwBtcZxgAtQZXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTByNWU4cGh1BGNvbG8DZ3ExBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzYw--?qid=20100901125446AARGjmk

I have been casually thinking of the fruit as a drupe not a berry. My thinking was single large seed = drupe. Its not a drupe or stone fruit according to the explanation above. Reason is there is no stone, which totally makes sense. When I was a botany tech in the mountains of Socal interested in biochar I used to run them through a blender I brought second hand for $2 along with charcoal and other compostables, they blended readily- because they have no stony layer. Alas my compost blender exploded and so now has my casual erroneous classification of an avocado as a drupe.
 
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William Schlegel wrote:

I have been casually thinking of the fruit as a drupe not a berry. My thinking was single large seed = drupe. Its not a drupe or stone fruit according to the explanation above. Reason is there is no stone, which totally makes sense.  



It does make sense. It brings to mind the chayote -- a berry like all squashes, but only one, big seed. But the seed looks like a huge version of a pumpkin seed, not like a stone. Evolutionarily, the chayote's one seed would have come about by a reduction in the number of seeds from the ancestral many-seeded condition shown by other squashes.

I have an avocado tree on my plot, but it is too young to have begun to bear. The Dominican type of avocado is much larger than the Haas, with smooth, green skin, and nearly spherical instead of pear shaped. The ways people change as they grow: when I was a kid, I hated avocados so much, they triggered my gag reflex; now I look forward to avocado season.
 
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Me and yes

I've got about 20 seedlings from supermarket Hass avocados. Plus 2 commercially grafted from the garden centre.

The idea is to take buds from the 2 bought trees and graft them onto the home grown rootstocks.


I'm in no hurry for them to produce, I can think of them as a pension. Would be cool to end up with 100 productive trees even if it takes ten years to get there.
 
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