Guest post: Avocado trees in Louisiana

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A few days ago as my cousin Wade and I were catching up, he shared his excitement at having one of his three avocado trees finally bear fruit. My bloggy wheels started spinning, and I asked if he’d like to do a guest post here to share the experience with all of you. He thought it was a splendid idea, and even sent along pictures of the gorgeous avocados. Color me jealous.

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It all started about six years ago when my wife Robin and I were thinking about grade school science class. I remember when we used to put three toothpicks in an avocado seed and put it in a jar of water. We’d wait for what seemed like forever, then out popped a little tree. Robin and I decided to try it for ourselves.

The experiment worked, so we decide to throw the tree in the ground and see what happened. One year later, we did the same thing with another avocado seed. A year after that, we repeated the experiment. Not really knowing a lot about the trees (we still don’t), we planted them about three feet apart in a triangle. Slowly but surely (for what reasons – we don’t know), the second tree planted took off. It towered over the older tree. The third tree planted was the unfortunate one; the other two apparently took most of the water and sunlight. To this day, the youngest tree (about four years old now) is only about three feet tall. My best guess is the six-year-old is about 12 feet tall and the five-year-old is about 23 feet tall.

This year, Robin noticed blooms on the middle (the five-year-old) tree — thousands of tiny flowers popped out. Then, all of a sudden, those flowers turned into little balls. We had some rough wind and rain storms and that might have contributed to losing a lot of the little “balls.” Who knows? But slowly, some of the balls grew. Lord have mercy, we were getting avocados! We counted about 15 or so at one point. We found a small, marble-sized one on the ground every now and then, and of course had to try it.

Finally, from thousands of flowers, we had 12 (actually 11 1/2) large avocados. We still have one that is the size of a prune, but it’s high in the tree and doesn’t appear to be growing. We picked some and ate them — MMMMMMMM good. Tastes like avocados! We are looking forward to eating the rest, but can’t bear to pick them yet. I’m sure the stomach will prevail.

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10 Replies to “Guest post: Avocado trees in Louisiana”

  1. we picked the rest this weekend.
    Can’t wait until next year. Hopefully we will have more.
    thanks for posting this Amy!

  2. What part of Louisiana do you live in?

    Do you have frosts during the winter the trees have to deal with?

    I live in Beauregard Parish and am interested in a variety with some cold tolerance.

    Thanks!

  3. Amy, I am a plant breeder here in Louisiana and would like to speak with Wade about his avocado tree. Please send him my email address. Thanks, Kent

  4. I have two advacado plants already potted now about 8 and 12 inches tall. I put them outside and the leaves are scorched on one of them. I want to put them into the soil but am not sure of what kind of light would be best. What can you suggest?

  5. We moved Lafayette and I like to grow exotic spices and edibles. Four questions: 1) Do you think avocados will grow in this area? 2) Is it important to select a specific cultivar? 3) Are they self-pollinating or does it take more than one tree? 4) Does anyone know of a society/club here with similar interests? (I’m not much into landscaping or ornamental plants)

    1. Hi Thomas, I’m no expert on avocados (this was a guest post by my cousin), but I’d say you should be able to grow the trees in Lafayette. My cousin has had some luck getting the trees to bear, but my dad’s new plantings haven’t produced yet. Sometimes it takes a few years before they will, but sometimes it never happens at all, though growing more than one plant should aid in pollination. I found this post pretty helpful and am considering growing one indoors since I eat so many avocados! Good luck to you!
      http://inhabitat.com/how-to-grow-an-avocado-tree-from-an-avocado-pit/

      1. Thanks Amy! I’ll certainly give it a try. If you just stick a seed in a flower pot full of soil it grows too. Very helpful web site, they probably are right. To get decent fruit it may necessary to buy a grafted tree, but the self-grown one will tell me whether the climate is tolerable. I doubt that you can bring them inside for long though, seems they are pretty big trees.
        All the best, Thomas

  6. I enjoyed reading about the growing of avocados in Louisiana. I have been growing one outside for two years now and hope to see it produce fruit. The freeze got the plant last year but it came back. It is planted in a Southern exposure close to the house so I guess it was protected enough to come back. I was disappointed to learn that I have to wait seven years for it to fruit. I am 82 years of age and hopeful that I’ll be here to pick the first one. What do you think?

  7. I live in Harvey I planted a grafted has advocado on the south side of my house made one advocado tree was 3 yr old now tree has flowers don,t know about this year it looked like I will have a lot it April 4 2016 I protected the tree with plastic on tree sides tree 8 ft high 6 ft. Wide I will build a drop tarp when the the hard north wind blows my tree is a hass . Also have one from seeds 4yr old to bloom this yr don,t think any will hold but my grafted one will make advocado .

  8. Avacado tree in Harvey la made 19 avacado tree 4 yr old have large crop this yr over 200 tree is 5 yr old don,t know if they wii all hold

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