Tips for Selecting the Right Avocado Tree

Which avocado tree is right for you? Whether you are thinking of Hass, Fuerte, Holiday or Jim Bacon – this guide will help you get the perfect tree for your home garden or patio.

Already have the perfect tree? CLICK HERE to review our detailed Avocado Tree Planting & Care instructions.

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Climate

Avocados crave sun and warmth. They’re a tropical to sub-tropical plant that is very sensitive to cold and frost, so you need to live in a USDA plant hardiness zone between 9 and 11 to give your avocado tree the most adaptable place to live.

While they do need full sun, younger trees need some protection from it until they develop dense foliage. Young or old, avocado trees don’t do well in high wind areas. Select a Faulk sun location that favors morning sun and that offers some wind protection.

Varieties

Be aware that all avocados are cold sensitive with some being more tolerant of cold conditions that others. If you’re in a warm, sunny location in USDA climate zone 9-11, you might like the more well-known Hass. The Hass avocado is the variety most commonly found in supermarkets. For a real special tasting variety try the Reed Avocado. It’s large fruit does not ship as well as Hass, so its not widely grown commercially, but that does not mean it is not a great choice for your home orchard.

The Stuart, Fuerte and Jim Bacon avocados are more cold tolerant than other varieties, but the Mexicola is the most frost resistant of all. The Little Cado is a dwarf variety that makes a nice backyard tree  and is also one that can be tried in containers, though avocados in general can be temperamental when grown in containers. Holiday is the smallest of the dwarf avocado varieties making perfect for small home orchards and or those wanting to try container growing. Even though the tree is small, the fruit is large and of excellent quality.

 

Size and spacing

In addition to climate needs, you should plan for the right amount of space for your avocado trees. Standard varieties can grow 30 feet tall, with a 15-foot spread once mature. However like all other fruit trees avocados can be maintained to any size with careful pruning. Dwarf varieties will reach 8-10 feet in height but they can also be held to any height when pruned.

 

Soil

Well drained soil is a must for avocados. Their roots need a loose, aerated, and well-drained soil. Compacted soils will hold the roots back from spreading, and when in standing water for any amount of time can result in the loss of the tree from root rot. If your soil does not drain well, plant your tree in a raised bed at least 12-18 inches above the soil line.