Avocado Tree Selection and Care
Avocados are a dense, evergreen, fast growing trees that in general get about 12-14′ tall in Central Texas.
Avocados should be planted on high ground. They need adequate water, but need good drainage. It is best to build a raised area at least 3′ in diameter and about 1′ high. Once you have this raised area, plant your tree in the middle. You should form a bowl with the graft just above the soil line at the bottom of the bowl. Over the course of 10 months to 3 years, soil can slowly be added into the bowl until the graft is completely under ground, which will provide freeze protection.
Avocado trees will need to be protected from the cold for the first TWO to THREE years. As the tree matures, the green bark on the trunk will begin to turn brown. This will indicate the tree should be cold hardy to the temperatures that are noted below. When a severe freeze is being forecast, mound additional soil around the trunk of young trees for extra protection
Start fertilizing your trees after one year of growth, using a balance fertilizer such as 8-8-8 twice yearly. Fertilizing is done after blooming when fruit is set and again three months later. This should occur approximately mid April to mid June.
Some interesting varieties:
Fantastic - Probably the most cold hardy of the Mexican avocados. Vigorous growing, beautiful tree. Fruit is green with paper thin purple skin. Hardy down to 15°F.
Joey – Very cold hardy* to the mid to upper teens, medium sized fruit, egg shaped, purple to black in color. Excellent flavor. Heavy producer. Ripens August to September. Founded by Joey Ricers in Uvalde, Texas.
Lila – (not the same as Lula). Medium pear shaped fruit with rich flavor. Ripens from September to October. Very cold hardy down to 14°F*. Gets 10-15′ in height.
Mexicola – Tall spreading tree. Fruit is smaller than the Mexicola Grande. Thin purple-black color skin. Hardy to upper teens. Ripens in September.
Mexicola Grande – A high quality fruit with glossy, amber, nearly black thin skin and rich nutty flavor. Fruit size varies from 4-8 oz. Ripens August-November. Cold hardy to about 18°F*.
Pancho – Originated as a seedling at Stuart Place, Texas. The fruit is oval to slightly pear-shaped and is light green in color with a very thin skin. Medium sized fruit, cold hardy to the mid teens, ripens August to September.
*Trees are hardy to temperatures indicated only when fully mature and will require protection for about 3-5 years.
A guide for avocado tree selection and care in Central Texas. It can sometimes be a challenge, but it's worth the work.