Avocado, Don Gillogly, fruit drop small seed

lifespeed(9B San Jose)July 23, 2010

My Don G. avocado has finally been in the ground long enough and grown big enough to produce. It's been in the ground 3 years old, about 10 feet high.

After about a month the stem holding the fruit yellows, and the fruit drops at about 1.5" long size.

I picked a tiny avocado off the ground (had probably sat a couple days) and sliced it open. The seed was small, the seed channel mostly empty.

Do I have a pollination problem? Do I have A or B flowers? Do I need to graft on the opposite flower to pollinate?

Sorry about the fuzzy picture,


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You definitely have a pollination issue, the seedless/nearly seedless avocados are called cukes. I am not familiar with that cultivar, so I can't tell you if it is type A or B. It wouldn't hurt to either plant, or graft both A and B type avocados nearby, (provided you have the room, of course).

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 11:21AM
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lifespeed(9B San Jose)

I'll have to make some grafts, I don't have room for a second Avocado tree. They are enormous when mature.

I think the Don G. Is a type 'A' flower. Perhaps I'll graft Fuerte. Would like to graft a Haas too, but it might not survive the occasional frosts here.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 2:19PM
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Good luck....I've got 4 avocados growing in my yard, all of them are of the mexican type and tend to be on the small side, both tree size and fruit size....we'll see how they go....

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 7:53PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

Isn't Don Gilogy a hybrid? I think it's supposed to self pollinate. They hype it pretty hard on the net. I almost bought one, but I got over it.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 11:37AM
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lifespeed(9B San Jose)

Well, any avocado grown from seed is a hybrid, isn't it? I think any avocado has the *potential* to self pollinate. But the unusual male/female at different times behavior tends to work against this.

Yes, they do hype it quite a bit. Perhaps in the next year or two I'll be able to post if it is a worthwhile variety. But I think I need to hedge my bet an opposite-type variety to ensure I get pollination. The tree is doing great, but the fruits have no seed inside, so what else can I conclude?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 11:56AM
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softmentor(z9/sunset13 CA desert)

I guess every avo that was pollinated by a tree other than it's self is a hybrid.
It is normal for several avos to drop at about that size.
Although the whole A & B thing is worth knowing about and can be helpful, it is not absolutely necessary for pollination.
from at the Dave Wilson Nursery site info about avos.
"In California, where the low temperatures typically fall below 70ºF during the blooming season, the daily schedules of "male" and "female" flowers become irregular and overlap considerably. For this reason, all avocados should be considered self-fruitful."

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 10:05PM
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lifespeed(9B San Jose)

Yeah, I hear they should be self-pollinating. But the tree has been in the ground three years and the fruit isn't holding on the tree.

Perhaps I'm impatient, but it can't hurt to graft a pollinator.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 12:48AM
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It definitely won't hurt. My grandfather was a little bit of a mango fanatic, he only had room for a few of trees, (I remember them being very large trees), but he had grafted at least 10 different varieties onto the trees he did have; he extended his harvesting season quite a bit. The moral of the story, even if your tree doesn't need a pollinator, it would be fun to practice grafting, and increasing the selections you have available.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 9:22PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

You should be thrilled. Those small guys sell at a premium rice when they're available. Called cocktail avocados!

In the home garden, there's enough overlap of bloom time of the A & B flowers to produce a good crop. Likely you need to give the tree more time to gear up.

Jean, who gardened for 30-some years in SoCal.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 12:35AM
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Barbara Richardson

My Don Gillogly tree is about five years old now and about 20 feet tall (so much for being a dwarf house plant..ha)Last year was the first year it had fruit. Had about 5 avocados. They were ok.
This year we had about 5 like the ones you pictured and a bumper crop of about 35 regular avocados, except so far, every one we've cut open has be stringy. YUCK.

I'm hoping that it's because it's a young tree and the fruit will get better. If not, I swear I'll cut the tree down and plant a Holiday.

Anyway, to answer your question, this tree is not supposed to need another to produce fruit. I only have the one tree. However, keep in mind that this tree is also supposed to be a dwarf (which is why I bought it), and produce twice a year (which I certainly haven't seen)

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 11:27PM
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lifespeed(9B San Jose)

It's good to hear they produce after a few years. The stringy aspect doesn't sound so great. Where are you located?

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 12:00PM
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