It can be difficult for novices and even for experts to determine the precise time to pick avocados from the trees. There is a large variety of avocados and the way they mature on the trees varies as well. Avocados soften and become ready to eat after you pick them---not while they are still on the trees. For this reason, you must keep a careful watch on avocados as the harvest time approaches so you will know when it is time to pick them.
Monitor the avocados to assess their readiness. As the avocados mature, they become larger. Because different avocados grow to be different sizes, size alone is not an indication of picking readiness. When you note that the avocados have reached mature size, the time to pick them will be near.
Examine the skins of the avocados. Note when the glossiness of the skins begins to fade into a matte finish. This change is another indication that it is almost time to pick the avocados.
Examine the area where the stem attaches to the avocados. When the area near the stem darkens, it indicates that the avocados are ready to pick.
Choose the largest avocado you can find with a dull skin and dark area near the stem. Use the pruning shears or the picking pole to pick the avocado. Let the avocado sit on the counter for at least three days and up to one week to see if it softens. If the avocado softens and becomes ready to eat within this period, you can assume that the other avocados of similar size and coloring are also ready to pick.
Pick the avocados that are easy to reach. Use the pruning shears to cut them from the tree with at least ½-inch of stem left on each avocado. Place the avocados carefully into the picking bag.