My friend is looking for a variety of avocado that will ripen in the summer time. Any suggestions?
I just read about a new variety that is supposed to produce three crops a year, spring, summer, fall. It's called 'Carmen-Hass'. 'Gem' is supposed to produce from late spring to early fall, that would cover summer, I think.
A plantsman who sends out an email newsletter sent this about Carmen Hass and Gem.
"Carmen-Hass (A) This is the hottest new sport of the popular commercial Hass. Apparently one tree in a Hass orchard in Mexico started flowering 3 times per year. A normal Hass blooms once in spring and is harvested the following year from late spring to early fall. The odd tree, now known as Carmen-Hass, blooms in spring, summer, and fall with corresponding crops. A mature tree can be harvested pretty much the entire year! Interestingly, the shape of the fruit is influenced by the bloom period. Spring bloom creates the typical pear-shaped fruit. Later blooms create rounded fruit. Carmen-Hass trees can grow tall and wide if allowed. This may be the only Avocado tree your garden needs!
GEM (A) This cultivar was bred by Gray Edward Martin of the University of California, who spent most of a lifetime to create the perfect Avocado. GEM is the daughter of Gwen, another UC introduction. Gwen was a nearly perfect decendent of Hass that had a nasty tendency to defoliate in winter. GEM is a Hass-type fruit that is a more consistent, heavy producer, easier to grow, and a natural semi-dwarf. Harvest late spring to early fall.
Bacon (B) This is a good pollinator for either Carmen or Gem and produces good to excellent tasting fruit January-April. Bacon is a very consistent, heavy producer.
Stewart (AB) This is another good pollinator and consistent, good producer. Stewart produces excellent quality fruit from early October to mid-December. "
Okay, so hoovb, where do we find a Carmen-Hass or a Gem?? I can squeeze two more SUV-trees up on my front slope, where my other avos are. Yumm.
The wholesaler is Brokaw Nursery, so you'd have to ask your retailer if they can buy from them. Or if you are anywhere near OC, the former Laguna Hills Nursery owner may be selling them at the Irvine Great Park farmers market on Sundays. Again from the newsletter:
" Brokaw was the neighbor of Rudolph Hass (who found his namesake Avocado cultivar) and introduced the Hass to the industry. Brokaw has not only been the leader in promoting Avocado varieties, they have developed the technique (in conjunction with UC scientists) of producing trees on cloned, disease-resistant rootstock.
Pretty much all retail trees are grafted on "seedling" rootstock. This was also true of orchard trees more than a generation ago. The grower plants an Avocado pit and grows a seedling tree. The cultivar is grafted to the seedling. Seedling trees are all different genetically; some have better roots than others. Most are susceptible to root rot diseases. All retail trees are grown in a compost-based growing medium. This in itself can promote root disease.
The vast majority of commercial orchard trees being planted today are grafted onto "clonal root resistant" rootstock. Researchers have gone to older orchards (trees grafted onto seedling rootstock) where root rot disease is present and sometimes find a lone tree that survives and thrives while all its neighbors have succumbed. This "escape" tree sometimes proves to have genetically superior roots. The researchers induce the roots to sucker and grow several rootstock trees to test and observe. They look for rootstocks that not only resist disease, but create trees that are productive, and for our purposes also look good. (There is a rootstock that produces productive, but ugly, trees.)
The most efficient method of producing Avocado trees on cloned roots is quite interesting. The grower starts by growing a pit (seedling) in a container. Because the big pit contains a lot of energy and vigor the seedling is used as a "nurse" plant. When the seedling is old enough they graft a short branch of the rootstock tree to it. Let's call the rootstock "Dusa" (one of the best rootstocks currently available). A constrictive ring is placed at the base of the graft which will eventually sever the seedling roots. In the meantime the Dusa stem grows vigorously because of the power of its "nurse". When it reaches about 2 feet tall the entire plant is placed in darkness for several weeks. This will cause the Dusa stem and foliage to become pale and soft (easier to induce rooting). A plastic sleeve is placed over the "etiolated" stem and about 15" of it is covered with potting soil. The potting soil contains a rooting hormone. This 2-tiered plant is grown under normal lighting while the Dusa stem grows roots. After growing sufficient roots the "nurse" plant can be cut off and discarded. This Dusa tree is then grafted to the desired fruit cultivar. This young tree is grown outdoors in the nursery for a year or two before it is ready to be installed into an orchard.
This method of providing an Avocado tree with clonal rootstock more than doubles the cost of each tree. However for me it has been the cost of success. The only Avocado trees that have ever grown significantly in my garden have been on clonal roots. I have also noted that when compared to Avocado trees on seedling roots, the leaves are larger and greener and the branches are significantly more resistant to sunburning."
Thanks, hoovb. Not so close to OC, about an hour south. But maybe worth visiting my mother in law and make a trip to the Farmer's Market, first.
More info on the link. Apparently Thrips can be a problem for summer-fruiting varieties of Avocado, so something to keep in mind.
Here is a link that might be useful: Avocado info at Browkaw Nursery (wholesaler)
'Reed' is apparently a summer variety as well. I recommend looking around that Brokaw site. Lots and lots of avocado info and stuff I never knew. This company sells trees to commercial growers. Very interesting and informative stuff.
hoovb, thanks for the info I will look around the site.
I just bought a reed at home depot and they also have 3 holiday trees but I have had 2 of holiday trees die on me. so I bought a reed which is the parent of the holiday so I think they should taste the same, you should try calling up some home depots, you also get a one year get your money back on any plant with reciept if it dies.
The 'Reed' is very tasty. I hope it thrives for you, Manny.
Good tip about keeping the receipt for plants from HD.
Weird, I thought I replied to this topic, but apparently not.
I am also looking to diversify my avocado collection via grafting. Ideal time for grafting avos is just after last frost, which is first week in March up here in Sunland/Tujunga, foothills area of Los Angeles. So that's coming up in a couple of weeks.
I currently have 3 avow. I have a big, very productive and healthy haas.
The other one is in it's second year of production on my sister's property. I think it's another Haas, but not certain.
Lastly, I have a little seedling from a Reed pit, that is about 1yr old in a container. I call it a 'Reedling'
I am planning on grafting a bit of the the reedling onto my big haas, to see if I can get it to fruiting quicker that way.
I am also looking to diversify and would love to obtain some buds or wood from established trees of other cultivars.
I'm particularly interested in the following:
Carmen-Haas (sounds wonderful!)
But I'm totally open to receiving material from any cultivar other than haas, as long as it's from fruiting wood.
Don't have much to trade as far as avocados go, just the haas and reedling. But I have a bunch of other interesting stuff for trade. Happy to drive to get what I am looking for.
Reed are the absolute best avocados. So buttery and melting, with a deep rich 'cado flavor. A close second would be some of the Sharwil that I've had in Hawaii.
The only knock on Reed is that it's a short summer season crop (which answers the original question). Maybe the season just seems short because I buy them up when I see them in a market, price be d@mned. They can be hard to find some years. I've heard that many growers keep Reeds for themselves, and grow everything else for sale.
According to this link, the season for picking reed is July to October in Ventura County...seems a decent window for picking following Haas.
Here is a link that might be useful: when to pick avocados
July to October is a range, which doesn't mean they are ripe in each of those months. They tend to hit stores here locally for a few weeks and then are gone. I can only speak to their availability in stores - perhaps some one with a mature Reed can clarify how they perform in a backyard setting.
If anyone has trouble finding some exotic varieties in CA, I suggest Epicenter Nursery in Santa Cruz. Great people. I planted a couple varieties last year that are doing great. I'm getting a Reed this year. Epicenternursery.com.
No, I don't work there.
Here is a link that might be useful: Epicenter Nursery