Avocado Tree Growth Rate
The creamy fruit of the avocado tree is sometimes also referred to as alligator pear, midshipman's butter, vegetable butter or butter pear. The tree grows best in a subtropical climate.
The avocado tree, Persea, is considered a fast-growing tree. The Arbor Day Foundation indicates that quick growers are those that achieve a minimum of 25 inches in height annually. With maturity, the avocado tree often reaches a height of 80 feet, although it is common to see much shorter avocado trees.
The growth rate of the avocado tree is sporadic, occurring in frequent flashes during warm weather in southern locales, while cooler areas see only one distinct spurt of growth, according to the trade association California Rare Fruit Growers Inc. The tree will grow in shade but requires full sun for excellent productivity.
The growth rate of the avocado will be adversely affected in areas with poor drainage. The Purdue University Department of Horticulture indicates that the tree cannot stand even being temporarily waterlogged. The water table should hover at least 3 feet below the surface of the ground, and planting areas with soil that holds water should be avoided.
Grow An Avocado Tree
Avocado trees (Persea americana) are evergreen, and will grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 11. Doing so will result in fruits three to five years you plant it. It is possible to grow an avocado tree from seed, but doing so means a five- to 13-year wait for fruit. Make sure your tree has enough room to grow. If your soil is heavy or drains slowly, build a mound of soil about 2 feet high and 5 feet around to help improve drainage. Once you've picked the perfect spot, dig a hole deep enough to accommodate the plant's entire root ball. Avocado trees have shallow roots that benefit greatly from mulching. Immediately after planting your avocado tree, spread coarse mulch around it. Test the soil before watering by scooping up a handful and squeezing it. If it holds its shape, skip the watering. Your tree will need watering less often -- about once a week -- when it reaches a year in age. Mature trees need about 20 gallons of water a day during the growing season. A 10-10-10 combination indicates that your fertilizer is 10 percent nitrogen, 10 percent phosphorous and 10 percent potassium. Harvest time varies from one avocado family to the next. Plants in the West Indian family bloom in the spring and produce fruit in the summer. Mexican avocado plants bloom in the winter and then produce fruit in the summer or fall. Avocados should never be allowed to fully ripen on the tree, because this results in mushy, foul-tasting fruit. If you're unsure, pick a single fruit and place it in your kitchen. If it's mature, it will ripen in three to eight days, and you'll know it's harvest time. Plants grown in containers also dry out more quickly, so check soil moisture levels more frequently than you would for an outdoor plant.
- Arbor Day Foundation: About Growth Rate
- California Rare Fruit Growers: Avocado
- Purdue University Department of Horticulture: Avocado
- University of California Agriculture and National Resources: Avocado Information
- University of Hawaii Extension: Avocado
- University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources: Three Avocado Groups
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: Avocado Growing in the Florida Home Landscape
- Floridata: Persea Americana
- Master Gardeners of Orange County: Avocado Growing
- Tropica Mango Rare & Exotic Tropical Fruit Trees: How Not to Kill Your Avocado Tree
- GreenView: How to Calculate the Amount of Nitrogen in a Fertilizer Bag
- UC Coopertive Extension: Avocado Production in Home Gardens